Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Are libraries at the bottom of the food chain?

An article entitled "Book donations made easier" appeared in our local paper recently. Three Rockingham County towns have signed on with a bookseller called Got Books. The company, a for-profit business based in Massachusetts, places containers for donated books near landfills or recycling centers. Their trucks collect the contents weekly. A used book sale is then held every Friday and Saturday at their warehouse in North Reading. 50% of each weekend's sale profits go to a variety of non-profit organizations in the area. I congratulate the Got Books people for an innovative, and apparently successful, business endeavor.

What bothered me in the article was the sentence that said, "Books not sold in the book sales are given away to schools and libraries ..." So in Step 1, the book was so used, so outdated, or so unwanted that the original owner dropped it in the Got Books bin to get rid of it. In Step 2, the book was not even interesting enough to sell for a discount at a warehouse sale! So, its next evolution is to offer it to schools and libraries? Since when did we become the book home of last resort? Why would anyone think that we would want third-hand leftovers? Why would anyone assume that a library would be happy to accept scraps? Our customers want new titles, the hot DVDs, current music, and the latest bestsellers on audio and tape.

Here in Dover, we encourage you to donate your used books directly to the library. Yes, we do get plenty of clunkers (like the four boxes of '80s management textbooks that came on Monday) that go directly to our next booksale or to the recycling center, but on Saturday we also got a wonderful donation of the two brand new novels by Robert Parker and Michael Connelly! We have about a dozen people waiting to read these two books, so we will gratefully add them to our collection.

Twice a year we have fantastic booksales, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. By the time of the next sale in April, those two Parker and Connelly novels will probably be past their height of popularity and we can take those extra copies and put them in the sale. $4.00 for the Friends! The Friends of the Library make thousands of dollars at our sales; funds that go right back into programs and services and equipment for the library. Did you know that all of our family museum passes are purchased for us by the Friends? That service alone costs over $2000 annually.

So while I wish Got Books the best of luck in their business--- they've seen a niche and are acting on it, I still prefer the direct-to-the-library route for your book (and media) donations.

Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled volumes yearning to breathe free...! We'll keep what we need, sell the rest, and use the profits to purchase more library stuff you really want. Let's not use the middleman!

3 comments:

  1. The library in my former town sponsored a Holiday library donation program where people could donate new books, choosing off the library's 'wish list', and donate them in a loved one's name. The reciever recieved the book to open on Christmas morning, read it, then donated it to the library for a book plate with the date and the giver and reciever's name. As thanks, both parties get a donated discount at a local bookstore.
    I thought it was a wonderful program and I participated fully!

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  2. It's a lot worse than you think. Bob Ticehurst, owner of Got Books is nearly criminal in his advertising deceit.

    50% does not go to charity. About 90 percent of the books are sold for a profit independently - the other 10% of the most worthless material donated are the ones sold at the community charity booksale - in which he still has the gall to take 50% of the profits.

    From doing a few calculations, as I know around how many books he receives on a daily basis, he's making about 500-700K dollars a year for himself. The collateral damage is that libraries are not receiving the book they otherwise would get because Got Books is convicing local readers that he is essentially working for them.

    Somehow a man this crooked needs to be dealt with. Somehow this malicious advertising has to be illegal.

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  3. Anonymous2:16 AM

    I had to comment on what I just read about GOT BOOKS. People and libraries and anyone else donating to this company need to realize this man (BOB TICEHURST) owner of Got Books is definately ripping people off! He is an ex-accountant, who said he quit his job to sell books. This man has all inventory donated to him via the good hearted public who thinks he is solely donating their books to charity. Well, let me tell you, with some investigating, Bob Ticehurst is selling the donated book on Amazon.com, he also has 2 stores and is planning to open a chain of stores across the country with all the donated books he gets!!! This man LOOKS to be doing good!! He uses "giving to charity" as a come on to get more and morwe free inventory!! And ironically it works!! I can't believe that people and libraries and so blinded as not to see through this cheat!! Yes, he does donate, but that is after he has sorted through all his donations to see what is worth $$$ and what is junk to him. Than he donates the junk!! That way he covers his butt!! He also has another website where he is selling books called MASSBOOKSTORE.com, he has drop-off containers and huge trucks neatly stating the companies name on the side of the trucks. He has voluteers working at the stores!! Now you tell me what this man is really about??? I saw a book on his website Massbookstore.com selling at $188.00 WOW!!!! Now who ever donated that book should know that Bob Ticehurst, has been made into a millionare Thanks to all you people like myself who donated to his "Charity Causes"!!! To top that off I found out in the past 90days he sold 19,679 books on Amazon!!!!!!! This is unbelievable and the word needs to get out that this man is not what he is trying to make himself to be!!! Us poor people who can just about make ends meet have been fooled into believing that our hard earned money we use to buy a book, then turn around and donate to "a good cause" like he wants us to believe has made a man a millionare!!!! He is also listed on Linkedin at http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobticehurst where he lists his companies!! Sadly we all have been dooped!! I heard someone mention another local libraries booksales have gone way down due to GOTBOOKS advertising as the better place to donate books too!!! PLEASE BEWARE of BOB TICEHURST!!!!!!!

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