#1
Old 07-02-2018, 05:59 PM
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Library donations over the weekend

As a library volunteer, I sort incoming donations for our self-service bookstore, etc. I've worked there for about 6 years, and over the weekend, we got two items, the likes of which I'm sure they've gotten in but I had never seen them before.

1. A Donald Trump book. For as many millions of them that are allegedly out there, this was the first time I'd seen one.

2. A gay male porno DVD, with a cover that left NOTHING to the imagination.

I put the Dumpster book in the recycle bin, where it was intercepted by the lady who runs that bookstore and she put it out, saying, "What if someone wants to buy it?" Okay, whatever. And I put the DVD in the trash; while I have no issues with consenting adults looking at stuff like that, the library is not the place for it.

We did have a good laugh over both of those.
#2
Old 07-03-2018, 07:35 PM
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I have a pretty good collection of movies and TV shows on DVD. I was thinking of downsizing the collection, so I stopped in at my local library to see about arranging a donation. (They do have a DVD collection, which in my humble opinion is somewhat anemic.)

I was told that the library could not accept donations as the DVD collections is managed by a Friends Of The Library group. They charge fees for borrowing the DVD's and use those fees to buy new material. But they do not accept donations.

It boggles my mind that they would not want new material for free.

While I do have some stuff that I understand the library might not want (full seasons of Game of Thrones, for example), I also have plenty of stuff that is completely family-friendly and appropriate for a library.
#3
Old 07-03-2018, 10:19 PM
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DVD checkout is free in my library system. Do they ever have book, etc. sales? Maybe you could donate them for that purpose.

Whenever we get DVDs that aren't from another library, the staff wants to review them to see if we can use them for the collection. Probably 99% of them are not useful for that, but once in a while, they can use them. We also do that with current-year books, and some older books if we think it's warranted.

I volunteered there for probably a year before I found out that ex-library items may be resold only by the library; for instance, we can't take extra copies to a thrift store directly from us, although people who purchased items from us can certainly do that if they're done reading, watching, etc. them.

We also list valuable or narrow-interest things on Amazon. As anyone who has sold secondhand merchandise on any level can attest, people buy, or don't buy, THE.WEIRDEST.STUFF.
#4
Old 07-03-2018, 11:03 PM
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I'm Treasurer for a Friends of the Library Foundation.

We gladly accept donations for free. They get sorted, and about 4 times a year we have a big booksale at the library. to sell off these donated items, plus books removed from circulation. The profits fund a bunch of programs & speakers at the library.

But there are restrictions on DVD's (& CDs, VHS cassettes, LPs, etc.) -- they have to be in an original box, sleeve, or container -- otherwise they might be pirate copies. And these are for sale to individuals, not to add to the library collection. I believe there are copyright restrictions preventing library circulation of regular copies -- they have to pay big bucks for circulating copies. That's probably why they can't accept your copies for their collection.

We do have restrictions on what we accept, but they are based on acceptable condition or likelihood to sell. For example, we don't take encyclopedias, older diet or exercise or self-help books (those are all fads -- anything older than 2 years is out of style & won't sell), textbooks, etc. [Actually, we accept them, and then toss them in recycling. Refusing them discourages people from future donations. And many people just can't throw away a book they enjoyed reading & re-reading, even if it's falling apart. So they donate it, and we recycle it for them.]

We gladly accept political books -- they sell. Either to a supporter, or we say to an opponent "come on, it's only $2 -- you'd have that much fun burning it at your next event" -- and they buy it!

And we're a lot less prudish than the OP about porn or near-porn. We get a fair amount (classic porn: Marquis de Sade, Kama Sutra, 1950's marriage manuals, plus modern stuff), and it sells. We just put a sticker "Adult only" on the cover, and keep it far from the children's section. Sometimes we've covered over front cover illustrations if needed. But anything that sells is more money for us to use in supporting library programs.
#5
Old 07-03-2018, 11:20 PM
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We've put books with graphic sex, violence, etc. out for the sales, with the warnings Tim mentioned. The bookstore I work at is unstaffed, with a drop box for the money, so we have to be careful what we put out because you don't know what a kid might pick up and look at.

We don't have any warnings extant about counterfeit or pirated copies of CDs, DVDs, etc. but we cannot list DVDs on Amazon because of the extensive paperwork required (due to people selling counterfeits and pirated copies ) and it's feast or famine when it comes to those, except for library culls, because there are so many places here that will buy them outright, or sell them on consignment.

I agree with you about exercise books, etc. Sometimes, we will put out really old books in those genres for the nostalgia or even LOL factor. Reader's Digest Condensed Books are shipped to another branch library, and given away; there are people who use them for various crafts and they know to go there for them. And we get enough "Da Vinci Code" and "Chicken Soup" books, we could almost do this:

https://independent.co.uk/arts-e...-a6947816.html

One other thing. If your child gets books from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, it really truly is OK to let them read them, color in them, tear pages out of them, etc. We get stacks of them in pristine condition.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 07-03-2018 at 11:20 PM.
#6
Old 07-03-2018, 11:24 PM
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p.s. Amazon buys a lot of newer textbooks. If I find one for which they will do that, I usually just ship it straight to them and the library gets the money. The exception is that if the "newer edition" isn't out just yet, or if that textbook is in the top 100,000 or so in sales. I have a personal Amazon account and use my own judgment in this matter.

College textbooks don't sell in our bookstore, but elementary school textbooks do, especially for things like math and English which don't change. Homeschoolers love them.
#7
Old 07-04-2018, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bill View Post
But they do not accept donations.
Are you saying they wouldn't accept donations to add to their collection or that they wouldn't accept them to be resold?

As Tim pointed out, libraries can't have ordinary dvd's in their collection to be loaned out. They have to pay a special rate for their dvd's because it's assumed they'll be seen by multiple people.
#8
Old 07-04-2018, 01:31 AM
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Well, they told us to give them all the donated DVDs for staff to look at, for this reason. My guess is that the ones they do take are mostly documentary or educational items.
#9
Old 07-04-2018, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I believe there are copyright restrictions preventing library circulation of regular copies -- they have to pay big bucks for circulating copies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
As Tim pointed out, libraries can't have ordinary dvd's in their collection to be loaned out. They have to pay a special rate for their dvd's because it's assumed they'll be seen by multiple people.
There is no such requirement:

Quote:
Libraries may loan/rent videos, in whatever available format, to patrons for their personal use. This is true even if the video is labeled "For Home Use Only." The first sale exception (109) copyright allows an owner of a work to lend, rent or other depose of the work. Because of this, libraries can lend, people can sell videos or books at their garage sale, Amazon call sell new and used books, and second hand book stores are a legitimate business.

[...]

Are libraries required to purchase videos or DVDs at the higher institutional price? No. Vendors or publishers often use tiered pricing, but the library does not have to pay the higher fee unless it is getting something in return (discounted replacement copies, etc.) Many libraries by their own choice pay the institutional price for ethical reasons, recognizing that many people will use the video and a higher fee may be warranted.

Can libraries buy videos or DVDs at retail outlets, such as Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club? Yes, these videos can be added to the collection, loaned and shown for non-profit, educational purposes.
The big exception to the first sale doctrine is for rentals of music recordings or computer software, but that doesn't apply to libraries (but it's why Blockbuster didn't have CDs).

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 07-04-2018 at 03:33 AM.
#10
Old 07-04-2018, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bill View Post
I have a pretty good collection of movies and TV shows on DVD. I was thinking of downsizing the collection, so I stopped in at my local library to see about arranging a donation. (They do have a DVD collection, which in my humble opinion is somewhat anemic.)

I was told that the library could not accept donations as the DVD collections is managed by a Friends Of The Library group. They charge fees for borrowing the DVD's and use those fees to buy new material. But they do not accept donations.

It boggles my mind that they would not want new material for free.

While I do have some stuff that I understand the library might not want (full seasons of Game of Thrones, for example), I also have plenty of stuff that is completely family-friendly and appropriate for a library.
Too bad you can't send them to our place. The library has a very extensive collection of DVD's, and I'm sure they would be happy to have TV series like GOT. DVD's are also sold in the library bookstore.
#11
Old 07-04-2018, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Feldon View Post
Okay, I was wrong.

In my defense, I was told this by librarians. But apparently they were discussing a policy which some libraries choose to follow rather than one which they are required to follow. It seemed plausible to me; I worked in a place where we had to pay for public performance rights so I knew they existed.
#12
Old 07-04-2018, 09:27 AM
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Multi-volume sets, like encyclopedias, law-books, and anthologies, sell poorly. The biggest market for them is snobs who want to seem educated and use them for background "wallpaper".
#13
Old 07-04-2018, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bill View Post
While I do have some stuff that I understand the library might not want (full seasons of Game of Thrones, for example), I also have plenty of stuff that is completely family-friendly and appropriate for a library.
Woah! Your library only has "family-friendly" items in it's collection? Not much of a library. While I can see not wanting something like the gay porn (or any porn) in the OP, a library that refused to have GoT in its collection because it was too lewd would be a library I would be reluctant to support. That would be with the expectation that if some urchin came up to the check-out desk with it, they would get his mother involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
We gladly accept political books -- they sell. Either to a supporter, or we say to an opponent "come on, it's only $2 -- you'd have that much fun burning it at your next event" -- and they buy it!
As I've mentioned in the past, VNSA collects used books and sells them for one orgasmic weekend in February. Every year, last year's political books -- right or left -- show up by the cartonful. Except for a handful of valuable volumes that are kept over, everything that does not sell is given to old folks' homes, prisons and the like so they start afresh for next year. The political books plainly do not qualify.
#14
Old 07-04-2018, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
In my defense, I was told this by librarians. But apparently they were discussing a policy which some libraries choose to follow rather than one which they are required to follow. It seemed plausible to me; I worked in a place where we had to pay for public performance rights so I knew they existed.
Right -- apparently, this is more 'library policy' than legal copyright restrictions.

Though there is a rumor among librarians that library systems that circulate standard retail copies of DVDs/CDs can get 'blacklisted' by publishers, who either won't sell to them or delay deliveries to them. But that might be mostly urban legend; how would the publisher refuse to sell to them when they are buying standard retail copies instead of from the publisher? Maybe less popular titles, that aren't stocked at the local retail store have to be ordered directly from the publisher, and they could withhold those? Or it could be a rumor that the publishers deliberately spread & reinforce, to encourage sales of their library circulating copies.
#15
Old 07-04-2018, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
Woah! Your library only has "family-friendly" items in it's collection? Not much of a library. While I can see not wanting something like the gay porn (or any porn) in the OP, a library that refused to have GoT in its collection because it was too lewd would be a library I would be reluctant to support. That would be with the expectation that if some urchin came up to the check-out desk with it, they would get his mother involved.

As I've mentioned in the past, VNSA collects used books and sells them for one orgasmic weekend in February. Every year, last year's political books -- right or left -- show up by the cartonful. Except for a handful of valuable volumes that are kept over, everything that does not sell is given to old folks' homes, prisons and the like so they start afresh for next year. The political books plainly do not qualify.
Well, I was making an assumption that they would not want material with high levels of nudity and sexuality. (Not to mention the extreme violence!) Perhaps my assumption was unwarranted. On the other hand, they don't seem to want anything...

As far as accepting items for sale, yes, they were willing to do that. I was reluctant to do that reasoning that many of the items might not sell and would get discarded, and those that did sell would only generate a small fraction of their actual value. As a donor, how does that make me feel - a couple of items sell for a dollar a pop and the rest gets tossed aside?

Your last point gives me an idea - perhaps I can find a nearby Senior Center that would like them. I'll check into that.
#16
Old 07-04-2018, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
Too bad you can't send them to our place. The library has a very extensive collection of DVD's, and I'm sure they would be happy to have TV series like GOT. DVD's are also sold in the library bookstore.
You know, if they would be willing to pay shipping, I might could be persuaded to do that.
#17
Old 07-04-2018, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Multi-volume sets, like encyclopedias, law-books, and anthologies, sell poorly. The biggest market for them is snobs who want to seem educated and use them for background "wallpaper".
Last year, I went to a living history museum in my area, and was horrified at the condition of the books the one-room schoolhouse used as props; they were basically sawdust. I contacted the head of the museum, which is run by the parks department, and explained that we got lots of suitable books that could be used for this purpose, so that it was look more like it really did for the decades it did until the school closed in 1967. A volunteer came by while we were there, and took 6 computer-paper boxes with her. I haven't been back to see if they made them there. We have plenty more if they want them.

We send some items to a warehouse re-seller, and they DO NOT want RDCBs, encyclopedias, or Time-Life or National Geographic books either.
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