Windsor Public Library Cuts Off Allowing Book Donations

Monday January 7th, 2013

Posted at 10:00am

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The Windsor Public Library has ended its acceptance policy of donations of books and other materials, because in most casesn the free donations end up costing the library more.

The Library states that many times donated books are not placed into circulation and take up valuable storage space before being sold. Figures show that donated books which make it on to WPL shelves number considerably less than 10 percent.

The Library says that books purchased for libraries are not the same as the books you purchase at your neigbourhood bookstore. Library books are library bound, meaning they have a stronger, longer lasting binding. This binding is often both sewn and glued. This helps keep books in the library longer. While library bound copies are more expensive, their lasting quality makes them worth the price.

They also say that another contributing factor to the decision is the associated costs incurred in placing a library book on the shelf. A bar code, spine label, reading program label, classification, and plastic label cover are applied to the book. If the book has a paper jacket it must be covered in plastic sheeting. Then the book has to be catalogued in the computer system. Staff estimates that WPL receives approximately 5,000 material donations annually: it can take several minutes to determine whether or not the material in question will enter circulation – and if the answer is yes – an additional five to 30 minutes to get the material shelf-ready. They say this all costs money and time.

Acquisition of books is completed according to a Collection Development Policy which is in place to ensure books are selected appropriately for the library. The policy outlines standards for quality, variety, and other factors that help create a diverse and high-quality library collection. Librarians are charged with selecting book titles based on this policy.

Customers are urged to seek out alternative donation sites, such as area retirement homes, hospitals, the Salvation Army, Goodwill and the Bibles for Missions Thrift Store.

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