Check If Your Local Library Will Take Book Donations

Clearing out bookshelves of tomes you no longer want or need? Don't forget to check if your local library could use them.

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I've been on a bit of decluttering splurge of late. The weekend before last, it was the turn of my bookshelves to face the knife, and when I was done, a pile of around 200 books lay on the floor having been declared clutter.

Which is both emotionally draining and satisfying as an activity, but it left me with a problem. 200 problems to be more precise, because having decided to cull those particular titles, I had to decide what to do with them.

Being primarily paper they would recycle reasonably well, but that feels like a waste. There were too many to try to list/sell via Gumtree or similar, and second-hand bookstores are becoming something of a rarity around my area, although I did check with the one remaining store, which was only interested in trading books. That wasn't of interest, as by clearing the 200-odd pile, I'd actually managed to get my bookshelves back to "mostly manageable" from "cluttered pile" status.

Many charity organisations will take books as donations, but it's worthwhile checking if their values accord with your own, or indeed (depending on the collection setup) whether a significant enough portion of their sale proceeds will make it to charity in the first place.

So I called up my local library to see if they'd accept them, and discovered they would, even in that kind of quantity. They were quite upfront about what they'd do with them, noting that they may use some as shelf stock, but equally that some may end up straight in the sale/discard piles to generate small scale income for the library itself.

I'm fine with that, because I do think libraries are wonderful places, and I'm happy thinking that they'll either help the library buy more new books or provide new services, or be read again as a direct library shelf book.


    What a great idea, surprisingly I never thought of this!

    Or you could donate to Australian Books for the Children of Africa.
    They are a registered charity providing second-hand books and writing materials to underprivileged schools in rural Africa.

    Yes, please Check with your local library BEFORE you go what their donations policy is. I work at a regional NSW library and we get offered vast amounts of books each year as many people are like Alex Kidman and don't like to waste them. Our policy requests that books are relevant to the needs and interests of the general public, reasonably new (within 5 years of publication generally, especially for non fiction) and in good condition. Those two latter points are important. what are libraries to do with out of date and/or tatty donations? Staff spend an awful lot of time sorting through unsuitable books because people are unwilling to throw books in the bin.

    I had books about austerity that were 2015, After I read them, i wanted to donate them to the local library and they told me that don't want books on politics. Everything is politics. As usual the mind war continues where the alternative to current system of a few living lavish lifestyles and th rest existing for that purpose can not be challenged.

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