LIBRARY NEWS: Dos and Don’ts of Library Donations

Donations of new or gently used hardcover books, CDs and DVDs are vital to the ongoing operation of your library. Without your help, our collection would be much less robust. In fact, last year we added 597 items to our collection from donated materials, and others went to the Friends of the Library for their annual book sale.

Clearly, we rely on your generosity to serve our community well.

But lately we’ve had increasing problems with donations that are outdated, very old, or in poor condition. These items must be thrown away or recycled, costing your library time and money. So we want to take this opportunity to review the best practices for library donations, hoping this information is helpful to you as well as to us.

1. Please do bring in clean, gently worn books, CDs and DVDs.

2. Please do not bring in VHS tapes and cassettes, donate magazines older than one year or leave personal items inside of donations.

3. Please do not deliver donations after hours in the book return slot at the library or the drop box at City Market or by leaving them at our front entrance. Please bring them inside.

4. Dated nonfiction materials are not welcome; for example, old health and medicine books, travel and restaurant guides more than a year old, non-current atlases and tax books; and anything relating to computers that is more than a year old. Textbooks normally are of no interest to our patrons.

5. Please do not bring more than two or three boxes per person, as we do not have much space in our workroom.

6. What donated materials do we like best? Our favorites are your favorites. Experience plus your responses to surveys over the years have taught us that at the top of your wish lists are mysteries, historical fiction, bestsellers, thrillers, classics, contemporary fiction, fantasy and romance. Also popular are Christian fiction, westerns, science fiction and short stories.

Many donors ask us what happens to their donations if they do not see them on the library shelves. Let’s take a donated book as an example:

First we check to see if we do not have that book in the library and want to add it to our collection. If yes, it is catalogued and put on the shelf. If we already have the book, we check to see if the donated one is in better condition. If yes, we will replace our older book with the newer donated one.
If the donated book is not needed for the collection, but is in great condition, it goes to the Friends of the Library book sale. If it is in good condition, it is put on the “For Sale” carts in the library and sold at greatly discounted prices.

English-born Alfred North Whitehead, a mathematician and philosopher, once said that “No one achieves success without the help of others.” That’s certainly true of your library. We are grateful for the generosity of all our donors, but we ask your help in donating only materials suitable for the collection.

Holiday closure
Your library will be closed on Friday, November 10 in observance of Veterans Day, and is open again on Saturday the 11th.

Activities calendars available
To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your families at your library, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month. There are three versions – kids, tweens/teens and adults.

All-ages LEGO contest entries due soon
Submissions are due between November 6-9 for the all-ages LEGO contest – 7 p.m. on the 9th being the final deadline. Multiple prizes for different age groups will be awarded on Saturday, November 11 at 12:15 p.m. so we encourage everyone to participate. Entries must be built ahead of time and they must be of your own creation, not a LEGO kit or from another source. Entries cannot be larger than 18” x 18” x 18”. Any questions? Ask at your library or phone 264-2209.

Fall Lifelong Learning series
Doug Roberts’ Lifelong Learning Lecture talk about our local vets and American Legion post takes place today (Thursday, November 2) at 5 p.m. Other November presentations are U.S. Forest Service’s Brandon Caley’s discussion of people, places and stories of the San Juan National Forest on the 9th, Ruth Lambert’s talk on the lives and family histories of early Hispanic settlers on the 16th, and Stacy Boone looking at how we may be impacting undeveloped public lands and the ethics of conservation on the 30th. There will be no talk on November 23 because of Thanksgiving.

We hope you will join us for these interesting and informative presentations. All are scheduled for 5-6:30 p.m. and include time for questions. For more information on all the talks, pick up a brochure at your library.

Teen advisory board today
Today (Thursday, November 2) the teen advisory board meets from 3-4 p.m. Bring your fun and innovative ideas to help us plan teen programs. Share an idea to pick out a free book.

Tech Time
Drop in with your technology questions for free help on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-noon and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m. Note: No Tech Time today (November 2).

Kids storytime
Every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m., join us for free great stories, fun songs and plenty of reasons to get up and move. This is an excellent way for kids of all ages to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.

Baby storytime
Every Saturday from 9:05 to 9:25 a.m., join us for a free short session of stories, songs and fingerplays for you and your little ones. Learn easy tips on how to include literacy skills into everyday family life. Recommended for children aged 0 to 12 months.

Toddler storytime
Every Saturday from 9:30–10 a.m., join us for 30 minutes of free stories, songs and fingerplays with open play afterwards. Learn easy tips on how to include literacy skills in everyday family life. Recommended for children 12 to 36 months or walking toddlers.

Large print
“The Rusted Sun” by Michael Zimmer is a western. “Turkey Trot Murder” by Leslie Meier is a Lucy Stone mystery. “Ghost on the Case” by Carolyn Hart is a Baily Ruth Ghost mystery. “A Column of Fire” by Ken Follett is the third book in the Kingsbridge English history series. “Second Chance Girl” by Susan Mallery is a Happily Inc. romance. “The Witches’ Tree” by M.C. Beaton is an Agatha Raisin mystery. “An Echo of Murder” by Anne Perry is a William Monk mystery.

“Feeling Jewish” by Devorah Baum delves into fiction, film, memoirs and psychoanalysis to explore feelings associated with modern Jews. “The Barstool Book of Sports” by Andrew Daniels explores stats, stories and other topics for sports fans. “Easy Guide to Washington, D.C. 2017” is a Frommer’s travel guide.

“The Store” by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo is a suspense story about an all-knowing retailer. “Exposed” by Lisa Scottoline is a Rosato and DiNunzio mystery. “Y is for Yesterday” by Sue Grafton is a mystery that begins at an elite private school. “Enigma” by Catherine Coulter is a Coulter-Savich FBI thriller. “Haunted” by James Patterson and James O. Born is a Det. Michael Bennett thriller. “Winter Solstice” by Elin Hilderbrand os the latest in the Quinn Family series. “What Happened” is Hillary Clinton’s look at her election loss and is read by the author. “To Be Where You Are” by Jan Karon is the 14th in the Mitford series featuring three generations of Kavanaghs.

Programmed Nooks
We have nine free Nooks and three free tablets programmed for your e-reading pleasure. The eight adult content e-readers contain either fiction or nonfiction bestsellers. The four youth e-readers contain books for children, juniors and young adults.

Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week we thank Frank Bergon, Maria Gallegos and our anonymous donors.

Quotable Quote
“There is a longing among all people and creatures to have a sense of purpose and worth. To satisfy that common longing in all of us we must respect each other.” – Chief Dan George (1899-1981), author, actor and chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

For more information on library books, services and programs – and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home – please visit our website at


Carole Howard & Library Staff

The Ruby Sisson Memorial Library has been located at 811 San Juan Street (corner of S. 8th and Hwy 160) since 1989. The library is overseen by the Upper San Juan Library District, a tax-funded special district in Archuleta County.