Monday, September 24, 2012

Good Guy Library Patron and their Donations.

Every weekend I work, I find myself inundated with donations dropped off during the day.  It seems that my branch's local community treats every weekend like "Spring Cleaning" season.  Some patrons don't even bother parking properly, they just pull up to the front of the library, ignoring the yellow curb and numerous signs saying not to "Park or Stand."  They block part of the sidewalk and entrance road while they bring in their boxes and bags of donations.

Bad Patron, Bad..

Some don't even bother bringing them in to the library, they just drop them off in front of the branch and leave.  I guess it is our fault because our sign only says not to drop off donations IN the book drop, it says nothing about dropping stuff off OUTSIDE of the book drop...

I was surprised when a patron came in with a stack of National Geographic books and first asked me if the library would have any use for them.  I checked the ILS and told him that we could actually add them to the branch's collection.  He seemed very grateful that they would serve a purpose and then asked if the library would want or need his 15 year collection of National Geographic Magazines.  I know how sentimental some people can be with their collections, so I tried to put it nicely that the library didn't need it.  He replied, "Do you know who would want them then?  I've asked local schools, Goodwill, other libraries."  I didn't want to be that guy who had to break it to him that his meticulous collecting was all for naught, I could only tell him, "Hmmm, yeah, I'm not sure who would want them then."

But seriously though, some donations are pure crap, either completely outdated items.  Or literal crap, people treat book slots like their personal garbage bin.  Sometimes you will find gold, a newly released book with hundreds of holds in mint condition.  We'll take what we can get with these nonstop budget cuts, the collections budget has really taken a hit.


  1. I work at a university library, but it's a similar issue with donations. I've seen brochures, restaurant freebies, promotional magazines (i.e. free stuff), and books you can tell were from other book sales and used book stores. Folks mean well, but it can get tedious (and annoying).

    1. I sometimes wonder if it would be more efficient to leave a recycling bin labeled, "Donations" in front of the library.