As a writer and book lover, this breaks my heart.
A friend of mine from school found a bunch of old books at the library for sale. Things like, “A Study on Rural Development” from the 1950s. Pretty covers, old pages, but otherwise boring sounding content. She figures, if she can actually bring herself to do it, that she’ll tear out the pages and use them for an art project. (Probably more as backgrounds than anything found here.) No matter what, they look pretty.
However, sadly, I have found an article that says that books are being burned by the hundreds by reputable libraries across the world.
In short, the reasons are simple. Burning books is cheaper than giving them away. For some reason. Mainly because they otherwise have to untag all of the library books. Also, with the economy bad, libraries are one of the things that are being cut. Moreover, there isn’t enough room for all the new books to come and all the old books to stay. Especially when they happen to be adding a coffee shop to the library, like they are in the University of New South Wales. (Which actually doesn’t count now that I think about it because all colleges need to have a coffee shop). Then, lastly, with many books going digital, there isn’t as much of a demand for books as much as journals. You don’t hear about any of the book burning because whenever they’ve told people, it did not go well.
That’s the summary of the article.
However, I have two solutions. My first solution is to charge for a library card. I know; library cards are almost always free. However, how many apps have you bought in the last month that cost $.99? Even if you buy a book off of Amazon for a penny, you still have to pay $4 in shipping. A $1 charge for a library card for a year I think would be reasonable. I’d pay it; that’s for sure. (Hey, my family had to pay was it $15 for a library card when we didn’t live in the same county.)
That at least solves the cost factor. It gives libraries more money.
But what about all the new books coming in?
We have organizations for everything, right? So why not have an organization for saving books? I don’t have this all figured out; I just thought of it. However, in short, the library ships all the books to the organization that we’ll call it New Life Books (NLB) so I don’t have to type out organization so much. I don’t know if NLB or the library or both should pay for shipping. We want to make it worth the library’s time after all. Then, NLB sorts through all of the books they receive and tosses the ones that worthy of dying. (Like a twilight book a fifty years from now. No one is going to want that. Sorry Twilighters.)
The good books though they either sell to collectors or find a place that would actually want it. (Like, copies of a newspaper from the 1850s might go to a museum.) NLB would also desensitize all of the books that come through, so no one thinks that they really belong to the library
Again, these details are sketchy, but in a perfect world, then money that is made on book sales would then be split between NLB (so they have funding to continue) and the libraries. With this, the library might actually end up making money money than they do now, and there is only bad book burning. (Which, I know, considering that banned book week was a bit ago, saying that a book is bad is probably not right, but I am also fully aware that in 50-60 years, unless I become REALLY famous, most of my books will be in that bad book pile too.)