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Topic: Why would a library get rid of this?

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Subject: Why would a library get rid of this?
Date Posted: 10/5/2009 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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I just received a harcover book in perfect condition -- mostly. It looks like a library book, complete with the protective plastic wrap over the cover, a tag on the spine that says F for fiction and the first three letters of the author's last name, and a tag that identifies it as a mystery. When I turn it over, the tag where it would have the bar code has been cut out. There are no identifying marks in the book saying what library it's from, but also no marks that indicate that it's been discarded. Why would there be no library marks and why would a library discard such a great book, especially when libraries are having such trouble with budget cuts.

Last Edited on: 10/5/09 10:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/5/2009 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,175
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Ex-library books are postable.

Usually they are marked or stamped 'Discard" or "Withdrawn", but some libraries around me just cut off the bar code, and some just draw a line thru it. And some, do nothing.

It is likely that the book was withdrawn. It doesn't really make sense that people would steal books from the library to post here ... there are much better ways of obtaining books to post than stealing them.

If you are really worried about it, ususally you could use the information inside to contact the library and ask them to check their records, but if there is no information or stamp with the library info, I don't see how you could do it.

I would just mark it Received. You could try PMing the sender and aking them about it ... maybe they will say that this is how their library always does it or something.

Last Edited on: 10/5/09 7:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/5/2009 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
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Sometimes libraries withdraw books that they have several copies of in their system which just sit on the shelves never getting checked out. They need to make room for newer stuff that people are requesting, so they withdraw some of those copies. I've seen many (way TOO many!) books like this at the FOL sales, books that look like they have never even been read. 

Libraries use different types of markings--sometimes they draw a line through the bar code, other times it's removed entirely. My library almost never stamps a book "withdrawn" but I have seen others that do get stamped as such inside the front cover.


Date Posted: 10/5/2009 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Libraries also rent books and return them to the company, the company then resells these books to various places.
So it could be one of those books.

OR the library has been given lots of copies of the books and they were sold at a FOL sale to earn money to buy more books.
It is not uncommon for libraries to sell nealy new copies of a popular book because they can charge more for them.
Rather then selling something for $1 or 2 they can sell them for $5 or 6.. Which would be the cost of a new paperback :)

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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Interesting! I didn't know all that. Thanks!

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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There is a limited amount of shelf space as well.  So while my library has ordered many copies of Dan Brown's new book (high demand) it is unlikely that they are going to keep more than a couple.  Our library also has a system that they go through all the donated books and select some to put on the shelves.  (The rest get sold.)  They keep a tally of those books to see how often they are checked out, and retire them when the check outs drop.  (Thank you computer system sorts.)

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
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Sometimes I don't really understand why the library lets go of some books that seem pretty new, but I hope that they have a good reason (like limited shelf space).

I'm in a large metropolitan area and our library has well over twenty branches.  A year ago the branch closest to me in Plymouth was closed temporarily for construction.  Significant construction - they torn down the library and are building a brand new one, a process that will take about two years.

Shortly after they closed this library, I made one of my usual visits to the permanent FOTL store for the library system (great books for 50 cents!).   I was suprised to find quite a lot more than the average number of new releases on the shelves.  The volunteer on duty that day explained that the library system had decided to sell many of the books from the Plymouth library.   This didn't - and still doesn't - make a lot of sense to me.   Maybe they didn't have the shelf space for the books at the other libraries, but the silly part to me is that they are going to have to buy a lot of new books when that library re-opens.    But again, I'm going to trust that the people who manage the libraries know more than me about how the system works.   And in the meantime I was able to buy some great new releases for bargain prices!

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,685
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I've bought books at the FOL sales that look like they've never been read and they are library books, not ones that people donated for the sale. I suspect as already mentioned that the book is a slow mover or they have too many copies. Be happy you haven't gotten one on the other end of the spectrum that is falling apart and full of stains, LOL.

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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You guys are lucky: Our library system hardly every puts withdrawn books that are postable on the sale wrack. And somebody there loves to use the black sharpie because they put that W all over the book. On the spine, the page edges, the front and back covers and then usually on the inside page.  I mean really-overkill anyone? All the books I buy from them are the donated ones. 

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
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I get quite a few books from library sales and most are in excellent condition, some I swear look like they haven't even been opened.  I gladly buy these books to read & post but almost feel guilty about it since it seems like I should be paying more than the 50 cents or a dollar a book.  Guilt goes away because after I read them I can pass them along to others wanting to read them also.

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2009
Posts: 285
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My library has a "Hot Reads" section, where they put multiple copies of the latest best sellers.   They can only be checked out for a week, and no renewals, but it's a very popular service.  I'm sure that these books quickly end up as library discards as soon as they are surplanted by the next big thing.  Your book may have come from such a service.

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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At the library we help on the FOL sale, they take brand new looking copies that come in on donation and replace their older shelf copies. They also get more copies for the in demand books at release time to fulfill the waiting lists quicker, and the put the excess copies out on the sales. Most libraries have only so much space to store books, so those extra copies or unused books need to move out and make room for something else.

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Libraries are sometimes given (not donated) books by the FOL or various other groups or patrons themselves.  We have patrons that bought 3 copies of the latest Dan Brown book and donated 2 copies to the library. Never been read either. When you have several other people doing this and limited shelf space it is just as easy to sell these copies. WE DO tell the patrons that they might be sold at a FOL sale table after the first few weeks.  Sometimes the lists on holds on a books drops when people just buy the copies rather then wait, so having 20 copies of one book is not always needed.

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,408
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some time ago my library let go of about 7 copies of a highly WLd book (can't remember the name of it), and I snapped them up and posted them here (one at a time).  Think they get rid of those where they have several copies and the demand falls off.  Pat

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
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As a former collection development librarian (translation: I bought and weeded the books), an older book that looks brand new says one thing: "nobody's reading me, ditch me and make space for a book someone will read". (ok, maybe that says 3 things...) :P

Their loss is your gain, Carolyn. :-)



Date Posted: 10/6/2009 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Due to budget cuts, our local bookstores are working with FOL.  There is a display in the bookstores with the books most wished for by the library.  You can buy a copy and donate it right there.  The bookstore even includes a tax donation receipt.  The FOL track and update the "donations" so the bookstores don't duplicate each other.