What happens to the books you donate?

Books and other materials donated to the Forest Grove City Library are first reviewed by Library Staff to see if they should be added to the Library’s inventory.

For those that are not selected, and for books de-selected from the Library collection by staff, Friends of the Library volunteers check used book prices online to pick out those that are valued at $8 or more. Most of them will be put on sale at Amazon.com under Friends’ dealership name, “forestgrovelibraryfriends.”  Friends have more than 1,200 books on sale through Amazon and these online sales will net more than $5,000 for the Library during the Friends fiscal year.

Books in good condition that are not selected for online sales are sorted by Friends volunteers for the twice-a-year book sales and for ongoing sales in the library. The twice-a-year sales are Friends’ primary income source.  They have been making about $10,000 a year.  The ongoing in-library sales are a new Friends project.

Books left over from the twice-a-year sales are picked up by a private company, Better World Books. They sell books online and they also send books overseas to private non-profit organizations.  They also  provide us free boxes, free pick-up and give us a portion of their proceeds from sale of our books.

Making money for the Library is Friends’ first strategic priority but this process for library donations and discards has other benefits: (1) Between donations and discards, the library has around 12,000 books to dispose of every six months, (2) turning donations away would be bad for the Library’s public relations, (3) friends efforts make money for library programs and help recirculate these books in our own community.

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