Should I Donate a Book to a Library

Donating books to libraries is a great idea, but you want to do it wisely.  Dropping off a copy of your book at your local library will quite often just mean that your local library now has ANOTHER book to take to the local paper shredder or sell for 50 cents at their year end sale.  Don’t let your book end up like that… Don’t just leave it at the front counter. Imagine a librarian coming in and seeing your book on their desk, and they are like, “What the heck is this?”

Make sure that you make an appointment to stop in and see the acquisition librarian while they are working.  Then, talk to and had the book right to them and ask what has to happen to get the book into their system. Some libraries don’t HAVE an acquisition librarian because the stocking decisions are made at another location. So another strategy to employ would be to get in touch with the volunteer organization associated with the library because you can ask them if they accept donations for library stocking.

More often than not, donated books end up being put into a pile and sold at the end of the year at a big library book sale.  At these sales, people can get a stack of books for $5, and your book may end up being one of them.  So, your book may still end up on a shelf somewhere and still may end up with a new reader.

But if you want it on library shelves, gifting the book is smart, but you would have to go through all the same steps that a book being SOLD to the library would.  It still needs a PCIP, it still needs to be in the MARC database, and you’ll still need to have a conversation with the acquisition librarian so that they actually consider stocking the book.