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Topic: Library book received

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Subject: Library book received
Date Posted: 6/18/2010 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 1
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I received a library book today that isn't stamped that it was taken out of circulation.  What should I do with it?

Date Posted: 6/18/2010 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I've been a librarian for over 15 years, and not all libraries stamp their books as "withdrawn" (although you are right, they should do so to eliminate confusion like this).

Per the Help Center document titled, "I received a library book! Is this allowed?":

"If you receive an ex-library book that is not clearly marked "withdrawn" (not all libraries do this), you should contact the library to ask them if this book is still part of their collection.

  • If the book is still part of the library's active collection, you should contact us."

You should be able to find an email address and/or phone number for the library via the web.  If you need help tracking them down, feel free to send me a PM and I'll be happy to help.



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Date Posted: 6/18/2010 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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If the library has an online catalog you might be able to see if the barcode matches.

And its getting more common for libraries to not stamp their books as they have less people to do that task anymore.

Subject: Ex library books
Date Posted: 6/19/2010 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,445
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Chances are it has been pulled from the shelf because it hadn't been checked out in a long time. They don't always mark the book discarded..

Date Posted: 6/19/2010 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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Many of our local branches don't stamp them (or deface the bar code or other labeling). I called on one that I found at a thrift...and it had been paid for by the customer who didn't return it.

Date Posted: 6/19/2010 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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one way to tell see if library bar code is has been removed or crossed out

it also possible the person had thought they lost the book paid for the book then found it  later

(i think that happen to me)

Date Posted: 6/20/2010 12:04 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,581
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I went to an FOL sale recently and of the 13 books I bought, 5 weren't stamped in any way to indicate they'd been removed from circulation.

Date Posted: 6/20/2010 1:18 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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I usually just trust the fact they've been discarded. I work at an FOL store and while our library's practice is to black out the barcode, they ocassionally get missed. 

Date Posted: 6/20/2010 2:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I also trust they have been discarded.  Our local library system is exensive and none of the branches (or city libraries) seem to deface their discards in any way.  I've seen old discards that are marked, but the newer ones don't seem to be.

Date Posted: 6/20/2010 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2009
Posts: 1,691
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Last Edited on: 8/20/10 2:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/20/2010 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 1,237
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I would contact the librarian to make sure the book is no longer part of the collection. I once purchased a book at a garage sale that I had fond memories of reading in 7th grade, only to open it up and find that it did indeed belong to the school I had attended. I contacted them to see if the book was still in use, and yes, it was in use and the girl who had sold this copy to me still had the book on her record (and it cost a lot more than the 25 cents I'd paid for it). I returned the book and the school reimbursed me the 25 cents, but all the hassle could have been avoided if the student had just returned the book in the first place or at least checked to be sure the book was actually hers to begun with.

Subject: I work in a school library and love to get long-lost books back.
Date Posted: 6/20/2010 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2007
Posts: 36
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We have to keep a certain number of books available to meet state standards, so I certainly appreciate it when people return our books.  We usually lose 45-50 titles per school year because of irresponsible, careless users who borrow them and move or transfer without thinking to bring books back.

I have a red "DISCARD" stamp with enormous letters that I use in two places whenever I weed books.  I realize many libraries don't take the time and effort. 

Date Posted: 6/21/2010 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 10,166
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I once returned a book to a library that had gone missing 5 years early.  They were so excited to get it back they even offered to send me a postage paid envelope to return it to them.  So it never hurts to check and see if they are missing.  Just look up the library on internet and get the phone # and call and explain to them you received this book in a swap and it has their library stamp on it but it is not marked discarded and you wanted to be sure that it had been.  Most likely it has been.  Then I would mark it discarded so the next person doesn't have to wonder.

Subject: Library books
Date Posted: 6/23/2010 3:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2004
Posts: 254
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I stopped by my local library today and bought 10 books for $10. None of them were stamped withdrawn. I've often bought library books at library sales and they're never marked withdrawn - so I wouldn't be concerned.