Friday, 16 March 2012

Boxes of books

Books without a shelf It's Climate Week this week, as well as my students' Break Week, which gives me both time to finish boxing up a batch of books for BetterWorld Books, and a moment to reflect on how that partnership has worked out over the past couple of years.

I hate the idea of things going to waste, but de-selection is as important as selection in managing any collection, so there are always going to be books going out as well as coming in.

Way-back-when, dealing with de-selected stock took up far too much of my time - I was sorting stock for it's suitability for three different charity shops, coordinating deliveries and collections to get the stock over there, stripping covers to make 'dead' books fit for paper recycling, and then there was this whole shelf of books that I was going to get around to selling to raise money to put back into the collection "someday"...

Our arrangement with BetterWorld Books put an end to all that, and over the past couple of years the stock we've sent to them, rather than to landfill, has (according to the figures they just sent me):
  • Saved 40 trees 
  • Saved 5 metres cubed of landfill space 
  • Saved over 8,900 litres of water 
  • Saved almost 8,250 Kwh of electricity 
  • Saved over 1600 Kg of greenhouse gases 

Not bad, for a service that's also saving me untold amounts of time and hassle, and generating income to keep our Travel section up to date!

Honestly, I can't quite imagine how I'd have handled the heavy stock weed and simultaneous library move last summer without being able to just seal up the boxes and send them on their way.

BetterWorld Books was started by three Notre Dame students, and it's a nice thought that we're doing our part from Notre Dame's London program.

* Photo by nofi, used under Creative Commons, with thanks.

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