by Barbara D'Amato
We’ve all read recently about Tom Wayne, who runs a used book store and wanted to give some books to libraries and thrift shops. None would take them, so he held a book-burning. For this he was roundly criticized.
But I can sympathize. Shortly after Katrina hit, and we were all saddened by the destruction of libraries or the water damage to books in libraries, I started hearing about places we could send books. Every time I checked, though, they wanted money, not books. I’m happy to send money to help rebuild a library, but I still have a lot of books I could give away. Good books, read just once.
Since then, I’ve kept an eye out for places to send books. It’s not as easy as I thought, and not as easy as it should be. Don’t we all have books we are finished with that could be a delight to somebody else?
I’ve discovered a few things:
Donating to libraries in general is difficult. Many libraries say that it costs more to catalog and shelve a book than it’s worth. You have to take it pretty much library by library. Some are delighted to have donations, but you may see your books later on the tables at their annual book sale fund-raiser. Nothing wrong with that, I guess.
You can donate books to prisons. Call and ask. But they don’t take hard covers. Prisoners apparently can make weapons out of hardcover books. [The pen is mightier --?]
Many retirement homes are really happy to get books. Call first.
Some hospitals, especially long-term care hospitals, will take them.
Sending to men and women in the military is tricky. Most people I talked with said to contact your local VFW for the best way.
I’m still having trouble sending books to New Orleans libraries. Thanks to a DorothyL contact, I have found one person in the area who is collecting books for a library that is being rebuilt. You can send books to her at:
325 Ferguson Ave.
Long Beach MS 39560
The San Diego library is helped the following person, who sorts books for the Friends of The Library and sends duplicates to the penal system. She is:
4150 41st St. #10
San Diego CA 92105
But this shouldn’t be so difficult. Somebody else help out here. What organizations would be glad to receive books in good condition, free?