Book Donations

Frequently Asked Questions about Book Donations

What happens to the items that I donate?

The Library staff sorts through the books to see if the book is needed to be added to their collection. If they do not need the book, then it is turned over to the Friends of the Library and we sell it in our used book sale—either the on‐going display in the Library lobby or in our sale held in the spring. Since the money that the Friends make each year (about $25,000) is used to help the Library, you are making a difference with your donations no matter whether they become part of the library’s collection or part of a book sale.

How does the Library decide whether to add books to the Library collection?

The Library has a set of guidelines that it uses to determine if they need the item. Sometimes the item may contain dated information, be in poor condition, or the Library may already have it in the collection and does not need another copy.

Can I get a receipt for the items that I donate?

If you would like a receipt, you can request one from the staff at the Circulation desk. You will be given a form to fill out and then a letter will be sent to you at a later time. While the Library staff will not quote a value of the donated items, they will give you a dated receipt with the number of items that you donated, and the type (hardcover, trade paperback, DVDs, etc.).

What kinds of items do you like to receive?

We are most happy to receive items in good condition, in particular:

  • Current and former bestsellers in excellent condition—both fiction and nonfiction
  • Classics in good condition
  • Fiction paperbacks in like‐new condition
  • Children’s titles in good condition (both books and movies sell out at most sales)
  • Really, really new unmarked textbooks (within 3 years of the publication date)
  • Audiobooks—another huge seller!
  • CDs and DVDs—purchased, not copied

What kind of items can’t you use?

We don’t accept:

  • Magazines
  • Encyclopedias
  • Reader’s Digest Condensed books
  • Items in poor condition—mildew odor, yellowed or missing pages, broken bindings
  • Textbooks and travel books more than three years old
  • Dated nonfiction
  • VHS videotapes
  • Cassette tapes
  • Medical or legal references more than three years old. We have found over the years that these items are not needed in the Library collection, and they just don’t sell well in our book sales. Rather than spending time and energy lugging them into the library for us to throw away, we hope you will just do this yourself. It is perfectly acceptable to discard a book that you once enjoyed, but is no longer in demand or useful.

How, and when, can I make a donation?

  • We accept donations throughout the year at the Circulation Desk. While the Friends do put out a press release asking for donations just prior to the book sale, we appreciate donations that are made at any time.
  • If you have a large donation, come to the front desk and ask for help bringing them in from your car. Or email us to arrange for pickup.