Campus Library Donates to Better Book World
Emily Margeson
emarg634@uwsp.edu

New plans for outdated books and books that are no longer needed are being implemented in the James H. Albertson Center for Learning Resources. The University Library is teaming up with Better World Books to help make room for new books that are a better fit.

The first shipment to Better World Books was 3,054 books, which is around 4,335 pounds. This partnership helps out staff when weeding through book stacks at the library to make room for newer books that are more valuable to the university.

“Weeding of books has not happened for decades,” said Tom Reich, Collection Development Librarian. He added that weeding is a large task and very time consuming.

Better World Books alleviates that stress and also gives back to the world. Better World books re-sells books that institutions donate, and gives back 15 percent of that money to the donator.

“We get 15 percent of what they sell the books for and the Wisconsin/ Nicaragua project gets 5 percent,” said Anne Swenson, Acquisitions Department.

The Wisconsin/Nicaragua project allows the library to give to a cause that is based on the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point campus. The Wisconsin/Nicaragua project helps mothers and children in need in Nicaragua by sending school materials, sewing tools and other helpful donations.

The library has to use the funds it makes from Better World Books for certain supplies.

“We take our 15 percent and it goes directly back into the collection,” Reich said. “The money made from the collection is required to be used for the same purpose.”

One of the benefits for the library is convenience.

“It’s hard to disperse of the books in a quick fashion,” Swenson said.

Since getting rid of books requires lots of desensitizing and removing labels as well as taking the books off the records, Better World does most of that for the customer.

“Basically all Anne and our student workers have to do to the books is basically box them and remove them from our catalogue,” Reich said.

Better World Books allows other institutions the opportunity to seek out new books and also send their old titles in.

“They hold books for up to three years to give them a chance to be sold and then if they can’t they consider donating them or recycling them in the best possible way,” Reich said.

Another way the library is weeding books off of its shelves is by having the book sale. This allows members of the university and community to purchase books. The only downfall to this is that they cannot sell all the books they need to get rid of.

“We could not put 4,000 books up for sale on our shelves, much less manage that,” Reich said.

That is why Better World Books was an agreement to get the books into a bigger marketplace and have a better chance of being sold.

“They have fifty some channels for selling the books,” Reich said.

“It’s hard to disperse of the books in a quick fashion,” Swenson said.

One of the major benefits is to help the Wisconsin/Nicaragua project.

“It makes me feel good as a librarian that we could be helping global literacy programs and much less our materials finding new homes,” Reich said.

This channel of selling and getting profits to organizations that help other people in the word is one that the Library hopes to keep for a long time.

“We’re hoping to keep it ongoing forever,” Swenson said.​