Things You Shouldn’t Donate to Your Library

I recently gave you a list of places to donate your used books. Now I’m giving you some advice for sorting through that pile before you donate!

When you need to get rid of books, the library may seem like a logical place to take them. Unfortunately, the majority of donated items are of no use to the library itself.  It’s very rare that a donated book will actually be added to the library’s collection for circulation.

In most cases, the books are taken by an organization like the Friends of the Library that I am a part of. Donated books are sorted and then sold at used book sales throughout the year to raise money that then goes to the library so they can purchase books and other items they need.

So before you haul those boxes of books to your library, check out this list and remove items they won’t be able to use.

Things You Shouldn’t Donate to Your Library

Text books

These don’t sell well. Plus, most of the text books that are donated are quite old so they’re not relevant.

Outdated travel guides

When it comes to travel (especially internationally), things can change a lot in just a few years. Outdated travel guides aren’t useful.

User manuals

These aren’t really books and aren’t something people look to buy at sales.

Water damaged books

Stained, torn, or dirty books

Books with highlighting or underlining

Anything that isn’t a book

The best way to ensure you are donating items of value is to look at each book and ask yourself if you’d pay money for it. If not, toss it. It’s totally okay to throw out (or recycle) books that have reached the end of their life span.

Before you donate your books, flip through them. Take out our bookmarks and other momentos. This will save the library time.

Leave a Reply