Column: Library lore - New donation rules

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The Friends have wrapped up yet another successful week of selling books at their quarterly sale.

After each sale, we work hard to find homes for the leftover items. Books are donated to churches, schools, prisons, and local service agencies. The sale room is totally cleared out after each sale, ensuring shoppers always see a fresh selection of materials next quarter.

It’s hard to believe that all of the books you see in the Friends of the Library book sale have been accumulated in a mere three months. We owe that to all of the good book donors out there. And there are lots of you! It seems that nearly every day, patrons bring in boxes of donated books. Sometimes it only takes a week or so before we are overwhelmed with donated materials.

The library would love to accept your new or gently used book donations. If you’re interested in donating materials to the library, we have some new guidelines to help you.

First, please check your books first to make sure they are in good condition. We try to sell these books to raise money to help support library programs, so donated items should be free of stains, rips, and markings.

You may also want to leaf through your books to make sure nothing is left behind. We’ve received books with family photos, greeting cards, handmade bookmarks, and even cash left in them. Often there is no way to match the donation up with the rightful owner so that these items can be returned.

Generally speaking, we LOVE receiving book donations. It’s fun to go through the boxes to see what treasures are inside.

But there are times that we open boxes, shut them right back up, and take them straight to the dumpster. If books are moldy, smoky, damaged, or overall smelly, please do not donate them to the library.

We are not able to sell homemade audiovisual materials. But, if you have an original movie and it’s in a case with original artwork, we’ll gladly take it.

We’ll gladly resell magazines fewer than five years old. But, if they’re much older than that, they aren’t appealing to our book sale shoppers. And despite the fact that many of us were raised to revere those National Geographic magazines, they don’t sell real well either.

Text books need to be very current and relevant to the general public, so we generally don’t accept those. Plus, they’re expensive, and you may get some money for them if you take them elsewhere.

Reader’s Digest condensed books which have been staples at library book sales for decades have passed their prime and are not popular at our book sale.

To streamline our process for handling donated materials, we now have designated a specific donation week each month when we will accept donations. The library will only accept book donations during the first full week of every month. Donations can be brought in any time between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

We ask that you please do not place donated books in our book drops. We need that space for patrons to return their materials at the library.

We hope to see you at the next Friends of the Library book sale, which will run from Oct. 11-17.

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