The library collection is constantly changing…one could even say it is being “renewed.” Every year, through our purchases and donations, we add thousands of volumes to our holdings. At the same time, we try to properly manage our collection by removing materials that are outdated or no longer necessary or appropriate. Among the hundreds of books we receive through donations each year, some are not suitable for our collection or duplicate materials we already have. What to do with the books removed from the collection or donated books we don’t add to our holdings?
In the past, we’ve tried to sell these volumes through the annual Friends of the Library book sale, although this was a very labor-intensive task with little financial benefit, and which always left us with thousands of volumes to be recycled. We have recently found a better approach. We are now partnering with Better World Books, an online book seller which uses its profits to support global literacy efforts and libraries. In our case, the profits from the sale of our withdrawn books are shared with the National Center for Family Literacy and with the Albion College Library. According to their website (http://www.betterworldbooks.com/), Better World Books has provided $10.4 million in funding for literacy programs and libraries, has donated more than 5 million books to partner literacy and education programs, and has diverted more than 40,000 tons of books from landfills.
As the end of the school year approaches, if you have books you no longer need, please consider donating them to the Library. We will review them carefully for possible inclusion in our collection where they will enrich our holdings and support Albion College students, faculty and staff in research as well as recreational reading. The books we don’t add will be picked up by Better World Books and given a chance to find another home, while supporting libraries and literacy!