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Topic: Former Library Books

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Subject: Former Library Books
Date Posted: 9/26/2012 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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The school library that I volunteer at has been weeding their collection--heavily.  It has not been done in 10+ years, and I've been elected to do it since I'm in library school (on the job training, I guess!).  I am weeding all books that are 10+ years old that don't have an AR test and all reference that's 10+ years old.  It should be stricter than that, but this is bad enough.  I'm weeding thousands of books from this library.  Most are not WL here, so are going on carts outside the library for teachers to add to their classroom libraries.  However, there are a couple hundred books that are WL here and I've been given permission to list them to get credits because I order so many books for the library anyway, they'll just be "recycled" into books that we do need.

So, my question is this--we are marking out the bar codes, so it's hopefully obvious that they are discards.  I don't want to mark the books up too much.  Some have picture printed covers under the covered dust jackets, and if possible, I'm taking stickers off if it doesn't damage anything and cleaning things up with Goo Gone.  I'm trying to make them as nice as possible, though if they weren't in VG or better condition, I didn't pull them to mail out anyway.

I'm just trying to think of anything I can that may come up.  I don't want a bunch of phone calls checking to see if the book is a discard--I need to make it obvious without marking the book up too much.  What would you recommend?  We do not have a "Withdrawn" or "Discard" stamp of any kind, but we have plenty of black Sharpies!

Also, I would like to avoid getting my first ever RWAPs over this as some people don't realize that ex-library books are postable.  I know they are, and I know that I don't need to refund if I do get a RWAP, but if I do these in batches, as many as I can afford to mail at a time, then should I notify TPTB that I'm mailing out lots of ex-library books in case I suddenly start getting slews of RWAPs from members who just don't know any better?  I know it's not necessary or recommended to PM ahead for this, but what would you do?

I want the credits to use for the library, and they all are WL books.  However, this project will take months for me to list, package and mail hundreds of books.  Any suggestions on how best to mark the books and approach any possible RWAPs  would be appreciated.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 9/26/2012 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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I can't imagine that many people will RWAP them just because they are library books. Some people do when they're new but there can't be that many. I doubt the anmins would remember you told them about what you were doing, or that the one who got your message would share it with the others so I wouldn't bother, just worry about it if it happens. Especially if you do them in batches, sounds like you'll be at it awhile. 

Do people really care about the book being discarded? I just assume an older library book in the system is discarded, maybe if it were a brand new one I might wonder why but it being stolen would probably not be my first thought. I've gotten quite a few and they don't seem to do the discard stamp thing that often anymore (or i've gotten a lot of stolen books). I wouldn't worry about that either. Do they happen to have a discard stamp though? One stamp inside in somewhere innocuous should suffice. 

Last Edited on: 9/26/12 6:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/26/2012 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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There's actually a little blurb in the Help Docs and it recommends if the book "is not clearly marked withdrawn" that they should contact the library to make sure it's not still a part of their collection.  I don't need people calling hundreds of times, so will eliminate all trace of the school's name if I can, but since we don't have a "Withdrawn" stamp just wanted others' advice.

I really hate that they put that in there like you should assume it's stolen if it's not "properly marked".  The library sales I go to here--they don't mark the books at all, they are just scanned out.  Me, I prefer less marking up the book, but I don't want to get in trouble if they are not marked, so figured I'd just Sharpie the school name & barcode.  Think that will be enough?

Date Posted: 9/26/2012 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,355
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You could mark the library (school) name through with a Sharpie.  You might also try a store like Staples, Office Max, etc., to see if they might have a stamp that says either "Withdrawn" or "Discard" or something similar that you could use in the book.  It shouldn't cost too much.  Another thing you might try is using printer labels and printing  something like "Withdrawn from library of XXXX school" and placing it near or on the area of the books that indicate they were part of your school library.  HTH and good luck.  Pat

Date Posted: 9/26/2012 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2011
Posts: 593
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You may want to try posting them on the WL Multiples thread first so that you can send multiples to the same addresses which should help with the shipping cost and reduce the chances of a RWAP. 

If you do happen to get multiple RWAP's and get "audited", they will see that the problem is with the people marking them RWAP, not you. 

I would think marking through the library barcode should be enough indication that it was withdrawn.

Also, if you have any stubborn sticky, I have found that a used dryer sheet works pretty well and doesn't leave behind a strong smell.


Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 9/26/2012 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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I can assure you that if I receive an ex-library book that is not marked discarded I am not contacting the library to see if it has been stolen. The book police are highly unlikely to drop by my house and do a spot check. And I have a ton of time on my hands! I can't imagine anyone actually doing that. I take that back, I guess I can imagine someone doing that, but man, how sad for them. Especially an older book, my first thought would be they closed the school not that it was stolen, if I even noticed at all. I got a bunch of old library books from freecycle that weren't marked and although the address was local I had never heard of the school so I assumed it was gone before my time. Even if I knew it I wouldn't have contacted them given the age of the books. 

Date Posted: 9/26/2012 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,650
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I'd either print up some stickers you can put on the book, near that barcode you're crossing out that say Withdrawn from library.  Or you can send a note along with the books you send to let the receiver know that the book has been withdrawn from a library collection so they don't have to check.

Date Posted: 9/26/2012 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,349
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You could write "withdrawn" across the library/school name, if that's not too time consuming.

Date Posted: 9/26/2012 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,545
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Here's a stamp you could get.

Last Edited on: 9/27/12 6:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/27/2012 1:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,090
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I would not go check to see if library books have been withdrawn. Although I've heard of one case on this site, I can't imagine that many members would bother.

I think a sharpie line thru the barcode would suffice to show that the book is withdrawn. (although a "discard" stamp would be better).

Resist the urge to over-sharpie the books, though. I don't mind books myself that have a few stamps on them, but I would prefer not to get books that have those same stamps lined out with huge marker lines until they are completely illegible. IMO, that looks 10 times worse than a few stamps on a book.

One of the libraries close to me does one line thru the barcode, which is fine ... and another takes a sharpie and colors over the entire barcode, making a big black block on the cover of every book (looks terrible and I am always worried that so very much sharpie is going to make the ink run). I tend to avoid picking up books from the second library unless I really want them, and then I send some time removing those barcodes and the sharpie mess from the covers with Goo Gone, just because it is so very, very unsightly.

Last Edited on: 9/27/12 1:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/27/2012 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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I'm not contacting a library about a book I might receive.


Date Posted: 9/27/2012 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 5,951
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I often get books from here to put in our school library. Please don't use rubber stamps. They are impossible to erase.

When I mail x-library, I take off EVERYTHING I possibly can without damaging the book. If it bothers you - attach a separate note. It won't ruin the book.

Thanks for asking.cool

Date Posted: 9/27/2012 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Just go to staples and get a Discard stamp they sometimes have withdrawn stamps too.. Might be around $10 but worth it.

You could get some printable labels and type withdrawn on it.

Stamp is much easier and less time consuming.

Date Posted: 9/27/2012 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2008
Posts: 333
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I was posting ex-library books for awhile, as I belong to an affluent library that turns over a lot of books quickly and many of their discards are wishlisted. They do not use a discard stamp either, just a red or black sharpie to cross out library info. Most of the time I have no problem, but one member did contact PBS and claim it was stolen library book, even though the head librarian did tell me that the person called and she had told them it was no problem. PBS suspended my account and wouldn't look in to the matter themselves, even though I provided them with the library's info. i had to get the head librarian to email them and only then would they release my account. PBS did not apologize, nor did the member who caused the whole issue. So these things do happen. I also can't imagine taking the time out of your day to check up on library books. it seems very bizarre to me and in my situation, spiteful. I think the member was just angry that she received a wish list book that was ex-library and wanted to be troublesome. Particularly since after she called the library, she was told the book was not stolen... She also lied and claimed there was no marker on the book, when there had been a black X on the spine sticker and black marker obscuring the scanner on back.  I think most people wouldn't be so vindictive, but you never know. I think you should post them, but just be aware that you may encounter some idiots and be prepared to deal with them.

Date Posted: 9/27/2012 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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If you're handy with an Xacto knife, you can carve a Discard stamp out of one of thise fine-grained white erasers, in any size you like. Draw the letters reversed on the eraser so they'll print out the right way, carve away the eraser around the letters so they stand out, get your stamp pad, and you're ready to go.

Date Posted: 9/27/2012 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I've received quite a few ex-library books--and would never think to call the library to make sure they were indeed discards.  Most of the library books I receive are in good shape, but a number of them (and books I check out from my local library as well) have food stains hidden within.  If I were posting the books, I'd check them out thoroughly to make sure there wasn't any staining within.  I think that there's more of a potential RWAP issue for hidden food/other stains within the books than someone erroneously marking a book RWAP just because it's a library book.

Last Edited on: 9/27/12 2:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/27/2012 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2011
Posts: 708
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I just got one today that is ex-library but not marked withdrawn. I really don't *want* to call, but since I am going to pass it along, I don't want it to come back and bite me if the person I send it to calls them! If I were keeping it, then I wouldn't call!

Date Posted: 9/27/2012 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Our library just draws a line through the bar code, no withdrawn stamps or anything like that. I used to hit the FOL sale a couple times a year to get books to beef up my shelf and sent all kinds of ex-library books. Only one time did someone call me on it and it was a newer member who didn't realize it was okay to post them. I also had one RWAP that was rescinded--the person thought she had her RC specifiying no ex lib. books turned on when she ordered my book, but she didn't, so she marked it resolved. I never PM about it beforehand since it's allowed by PBS, and would never expect to get a pm about it either.


Date Posted: 9/28/2012 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2007
Posts: 116
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I have a couple of library books that I lost over 20 years ago in another state. I had to pay full price for them, so I think the are mine, and I have posted them. I can't even imagine that anyone at the library would even have those records any more!
This is weird. The above sentences are one line long. I hope that they will be automatically formatted!


Date Posted: 9/28/2012 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2006
Posts: 24
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Instead of going Sharpie crazy or otherwise damaging the books would it be possible to write some sort of official letter and including a copy with each book? I'm sure the vast majority of people wouldn't care enough to do anything to investigate whether the book was rightfully obtained or not - but an official library letter may be enough to convince the remaining few that it's legit.

Date Posted: 9/28/2012 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,009
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I have sent so many ex-library books from FOL sales that I can't even remember how many over the years. The libraries around here do not mark them withdrawn, so I asked the librarian what happens if someone on paperbackswap wants to know if they are stolen. She laughed and said just have them call us, there will be no problem. Last spring they had a huge sale and were supplied with tons of brand new Large Print books that were donated from another library that closed. I snatched up quite a few of them and posted them here. Several members ordered them and only one questioned me because his book was in such great condition. I explained the situation, and gave him the library's phone number. He said he understood and was just wondering and wouldn't call the library. I don't know if he did or not, but either way it was okay with me. I am going to another FOL sale there in a couple of weeks with no hesitation at all in buying ex-library books and posting them here.

Date Posted: 9/29/2012 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2011
Posts: 3,030
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If there is any books on my wishlist, I would more and happy take some of them off your hands with no worries of a RWAP. Just saying!

Date Posted: 9/30/2012 6:22 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
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"If there is any books on my wishlist, I would more and happy take some of them off your hands with no worries of a RWAP. Just saying!"


Date Posted: 10/1/2012 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2011
Posts: 2,958
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I wouldn't stress over it. I haven't ever noticed when I library book I've gotten from here has been marked discarded or not. If I paid a credit for it, and it got sent to me it's mine now! devil

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 10/1/2012 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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If there are any that are too old to have ISBN's, you might consider posting them too!

It's impossible to wish-list a book without an ISBN, but some old kids' books are highly sought after.