The last time I wrote a library post, I explored how your mere presence can help your library. To continue the theme of ways to help your library, I’ll talk about going a step above simply being a patron.
Many libraries have a volunteer organization usually called the “Friends of [insert library here].” The Friends at my library handle donations and the used book/DVD/CD/cassette sales. A great way to give back to your local library is to make a donation of some sort. Basically the items in good condition are considered for adding to the library’s collection. Unfortunately for my branch, not every single item can go into the collection because that particular edition may not be in the library system’s catalog, or we may not have enough room on the shelf for the number of copies that come into our possession.
Worry not! Most items, if not added or saved for various reasons, will probably go into the used item sale run by the Friends. The money from these sales at my library goes toward buying new items for the collection. So basically any of the customers at my library can get as much as a bagful of books for one big, fat dollar, and that dollar goes toward buying us nice things! Great exchange, I think. Look for these sales at your local libraries if you like cheap books or other media in fair to new condition! I have yet to go to a library that doesn’t have some sort of sale shelf. I’ve found some great stuff over the years, including So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld and the whole Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy collection for a dollar each. Pretty neat!
So if you’re feeling generous or have some shelf-clearing to do, consider giving to your local library. It’ll probably be tax-deductible, which always helps. (Those darn taxes!) Call ahead, though, to make sure they’re taking donations, and to make sure they’re taking the type of items you’re ready to give. Some branches may only take certain types of items, and some may only take donations on certain days, or at certain times.
And if you’re looking for cheap books or want to pad your collection, the Friends can help with that too!
If your library doesn’t have a Friends organization, consider starting one up. It would count not only as volunteer work, but if you’re organizing it, it’s basically a leadership position. You’ll be handling money as well, so you’ll probably exercise skills in accounting of some sort. And if you love books and have the time, really it’s a great way to give back to the community.
That’s a short run-down of the Friends. I’ll write more on library volunteering in another post, but I hope this has been helpful. Keep the library love alive! And stay tuned for my 100/300 Giveaway this weekend!