5. Book Collections
Repurposing an Ethnic Community Library Collection
Establish a community book club…
Reinvigorate demand for older classics as well as new books of interest, at the same time as you build community.
Hold your own community book sale or give-away…
A great community event encourages reading and can raise a modest amount of money for other activities.
Seattle Public Library (SPL) or King County Library System (KCLS)
American Library Association (ALA): options for donating books overseas
Individual non-profit organizations may be selective
Some prefer only new books, used books in very good condition, in certain languages or on certain topics
Sell or give them to local used bookstores…
Contact UW Libraries…
Gifts Program: http://www.lib.washington.edu/gifts
Head, Carolyn Aamot (firstname.lastname@example.org)
UW international studies librarians (see address list at the end of the packet)
Donated Books, Periodicals and Other Materials
Be sure to store book and journal collections in a cool, dry place. This provides the best environment for their longevity.
Cellar/basement storage is conducive to mold. Moldy books are environmental hazards and in all but the rarest of cases must be refused by libraries. Costly procedures to remove or neutralize mold can be used in rare cases when a highly valuable, rare item is infected with mold.
Some stored books can also be infested by pests: most notably silverfish, which multiply and infest nearby materials – and if books are exposed to the elements, also rodents, which are attracted to the glue used in some bindings. Infested or gnawed-on books are generally beyond salvaging and must be refused.
Books printed on low-quality paper: paper made with a high proportion of wood pulp was an innovation of the late 19th century that enabled a boom in the newspaper industry, as well as the mass production of pulp fiction and other genres. After a certain age, this paper begins to crumble and is not repairable. However, we continue to discover unique, valuable, even irreplaceable content printed on this medium, and in that case, it merits preserving (e.g., microfilming, digitizing, or restoration)
Translations of world literature into the ethnic community’s heritage language: most of the time this kind of material is “out of scope” (i.e., poses no interest) for university libraries, though some public libraries may have a use for some of them.
Author/title lists are invaluable: when contacting the UW Libraries or any other library with an offer to donate a large collection of books and journals, the library staff will be grateful if you can also provide them with a complete or near-complete inventory of the collection. A list in spreadsheet format providing the author’s name (surname, first name), the title and subtitle of the book, and the publishing information (city, publisher’s name, and year of publication) for each book usually provides us with enough information to tell at a glance how good a fit the material might for the UW Libraries. Even if the fit isn’t ideal for UW, we may be able to refer you to another library that could be interested.
Site visits: In some cases, if there is strong evidence that a significant proportion of a library collection merits adding to the library, and if an author/title list is not available and cannot be produced, UW Libraries staff may arrange to make a site to have a look at the collection in order to make a decision.
Conservation: thanks to generous support from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and many private donors, the UW Libraries now has the most advanced book conservation program in the Pacific Northwest. In the years ahead and as it grows over time, UW’s Conservation Program will begin to offer workshops on preserving rare and antiquarian library materials. If your community has rare and antiquarian books and journals, keep an eye on the schedule of educational outreach events that our Conservation Program will be offering.