Ask a Librarian: What do I do with these old books?

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13 liquor boxes full of books
When you work with libraries, people ask you a lot of questions about what to do with old books, presumably books they don’t want. Here are ten tips that are good to know about donating books in general.

  1. Just because books are old doesn’t make them valuable (you can check values here). Librarians intrinsically know this but many other people don’t.
  2. Just because someone had a massive research collection of books/papers on a topic doesn’t mean that a library could benefit from that but maybe they could. It’s always AOK to find a library–almost always an academic or special library–that specializes in whatever the topic is, and ask if they want them.
  3. Most library booksales are run by friends groups and not the library (learn more about friends groups here)
  4. Donating to a library usually means books will go into the book sale (or possibly even be recycled) and almost never means they will go on the shelf. Do not donate books to a library unless you are clear on this and okay with this.
  5. At libraries with really active booksales, books with higher value may get sold online, not at the local sale. The benefit to donating to the library is that the money goes to the library (or the Friends of the Library and ultimately the library) If you have fancy signed first editions, you might be better off selling them yourself on eBay and donating that money to the library.
  6. There is standard stuff most libraries don’t want including textbooks, old reference books, Readers Digest condensed books and anything damp, moldy or in bad shape. Many libraries have more information on their websites about what they specifically want and don’t want.
  7. It’s always a great idea to call/email to make sure the library is accepting donations and ask when a good time is to come by.
  8. Libraries are non-profit so you can often get a tax deduction for your donation but you may need to ask for a receipt.
  9. Pack up your books in durable boxes that are liftable by the average 50-70 year old person.
  10. Do not presume the library will have a hand cart, but you can usually presume they will have an accessible entrance.

Sometimes you have books or other readable stuff that just won’t make the cut to be in the library booksale. It happens. There are many other things that can be done with old books including book art (maybe you have a book artist near you), donation or recycling, or maybe even fire starters (let me know if you need a note saying this is okay). I just donated about 300 books to my local library for their booksale. I contacted them on facebook and they gave me a good time to come by. They had a hand truck but no one available to help move books. I got a receipt for my donation. They told me where to park to minimize the distance I had to carry the books. It went really well. Got some extra books laying around? Consider donating them to the public library!

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darastar
14 days ago
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SHARING IS CARING.

Libraries may not put your old books on the shelf, but the money they raise with them will get put to good use!
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2 public comments
mareino
11 days ago
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Also: in 99% of America, there is no need for you to build a little "lending library" birdhouse thing and stick it in your front yard. Your impulse to share knowledge is good, but you are just creating a weak imitation of a professionally run public service.
Washington, District of Columbia
sirshannon
12 days ago
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I have quite a few books on my shelves that I bought used on Amazon, sold by Goodwill and libraries (or both).

Why Should Cities Bear the Cost of Trump’s Rallies?

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Friday was one of those mornings when Donald Trump directed his Twitter ire at a mayor.

This time, Donald Trump blamed the cancellation of the military parade he had slotted for Veterans’ Day in D.C. on “local politicians,” arguing that the District of Columbia quoted too high a price to host such an event. Mayor Muriel Bowser embraced that accusation:

Bowser brings up a point that’s plagued a lot of other U.S. mayors: Cities have often ended up underwriting Trump rallies, even though they’ve been saddled with some pretty hefty costs in the aftermath.

Several municipalities learned this the hard way in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, when they hosted the Trump, Clinton, and Sanders campaigns. A Center for Public Integrity investigation of federal campaign and municipal records found that as of 2017, city policing costs. The Trump campaign, in particular, was responsible for at least $204,000 in unpaid security bills. These costs include police and fire department staffing hours and overtime for security and traffic control, the cost of equipment such as barricades, and even in some cases, utility costs and media relations.

Tucson, Arizona, racked up over $80,000 (double what the Sanders rally had cost the previous day); Spokane, Washington: around $65,000; and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. And these are just some of the cities that have complained about being left with the bill for a Trump rally. It’s not always clear who foots the bill when presidents or presidential hopefuls come to town, but in the case of Tucson, the Trump campaign manager had signed a prior agreement to cover the costs of security. Still, no dice.

“You are responsible for these payments,” Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin wrote to the Trump campaign in a letter obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. Rankin did not rule out a lawsuit.

According to a recent study by University of Pennsylvania, cities hosting Trump rallies saw higher numbers of assaults than those hosting other presidential candidates, which means they come with additional public safety concerns and often the need for heightened security measures. In 2016, Trump cancelled a rally in Chicago after pro- and anti-Trump protesters clashed. In many cases, attendees and campaign staffers have been charged with assaulting dissenters and journalists. Trump himself has made statements encouraging security officers to remove hecklers and supporters to “knock the crap out of” dissenters. After the Chicago rally was cancelled, security expert Juliette Kayyem— a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a former assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the Obama administration—wrote in an op-ed for CNN:

..while I believe that all of the blame rests on Donald Trump himself -- a man who speaks of leadership while taking no responsibility for the impact of his words -- that fact is absolutely irrelevant for public safety agencies. For future events, mayors and police chiefs must simply assume the worst and build a safety apparatus around that. Any failure to plan makes police act in ways that are completely inconsistent with the minimal threat the protesters pose.

This advice remains relevant because Trump hasn’t stopped campaigning, even though he’s now president. In 2017, Trump held a rally in Phoenix that saddled the city’s taxpayers with $450,000 in traffic, security, and utility costs—riling up opposing politicians and local taxpayers.

“It's 2017. He just won in 2016. This shouldn't be something that the city of Phoenix should pay for,” Arizona Democratic Party spokesman Enrique Gutierrez told The Arizona Republic at the time.  

The topic became particularly contentious at a city council meeting in Phoenix earlier this year, when citizens petitioned to withhold city resources on future Trump events and criticized the heavy-handed police response towards counter-protesters. The city council unanimously rejected the proposals, although some members brought up the need to look into whether these costs can be reimbursed.

Even though Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton asked the president to delay the rally for fear of violence, he later told The Phoenix New Times that his city nonetheless had a responsibility to provide the necessary security.

When it comes to public safety, we have an obligation to provide public safety services to any dignitary visiting our community,” he said.

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darastar
27 days ago
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Not paying contracted services is kind of Trump's MO
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Confirmed: the Pockets on Women's Pants Are Indeed Bullshit

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An extensive, important study has confirmed something women have known—and have been shouting about—for some time: the pockets on our jeans are bullshit. Though concrete, empirical data doesn’t change the reality of the sexist pocket gap that exists in fashion today, we have to start somewhere, and I can’t help but…

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darastar
33 days ago
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Women's pockets are utterly wrong.
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kagekanecavi: jacensolodjo: thelightreturns: wintermoth: a-je...

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kagekanecavi:

jacensolodjo:

thelightreturns:

wintermoth:

a-jedi-in-purgatory:

(Source)

Dug in real life has just met you, and he—Squirrel!—loves you.”

THIS IS THE PUREST THING IN ALL OF EXISTENCE!

Oh my goodNESS

this is so good and pure

@selkieblues

@missbeckywrites

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darastar
34 days ago
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This brings me great joy.
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Journey Backwards In Time Again To the Medieval World of DARK TOWER

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Ever since Restoration Games started, there have been a plethora of comments, suggestions, and requests for the next game to restore. Though a newer publisher, Restoration Games has garnered a lot of attention with their updating and releasing of classic games that come with plenty of childhood nostalgia. When the announcement for Fireball Island was met with thunderous applause last year, it was no surprise that the subsequent Kickstarter raised over $2.8 million. Soon, it’ll be another board gaming dream come true with the release of Dark Tower, the fantasy adventure game from 1981 that was one of the most requested games for Restoration Games to bring back.

Original Dark Tower Game Box

There were hopes of a Dark Tower restoration when keen Googlers found a trademark registration for the game back in February of 2017. For those who have been waiting with bated breath, you can now exhale. Dark Tower is slated to appear on Kickstarter in 2019 with a release date of 2020.

Rob Daviau, Restoration Games Chief Restoration Officer, is co-designing the restored Dark Tower with Isaac Childres. In terms of credentials, this duo has got plenty. Daviau is one half of the design team that brought you everything legacy (Risk Legacy, SeaFall, Pandemic Legacy) as well as re-tuning other Restoration Games releases. Childres is the mastermind behind Gloomhaven, the massive dungeon-crawler hit game that has won nearly award in the past year, and the recently released follow-up, Founders of Gloomhaven. Childres said that he “could not pass up a chance to work with Rob, a giant in the industry”. With these two at the helm, you can rest assured that your childhood memories will be preserved.

head shots

For those not familiar with the original game, Dark Tower was ahead of its time. The 10-inch-tall titular tower in the center of the board housed a small computer. On a turn, each player moves around the board in an attempt to find three keys. Then, the Tower acts as an electronic GM, resolving what happens. With a series of 8-bit beeps and whirrs, the Tower tells you whether your move was safe, the outcome of your battles against the brigands, keeps track of each player’s inventories and resources, haggles with bazaar keepers, buy new warriors, or even play some mood music during key points of the game. Even by today’s standards, it’s no wonder Dark Tower’s technological feats make it so highly coveted by collectors. It’s also part of what brought Childres on board. “I was intrigued by the use of technology to enhance the telling of epic, branching narratives in a board game,” said Childres.

Though there are no details on how Restoration Games will be integrating the electronic aspect of Dark Tower, the app integration of their other title, Stop Thief, should give you confidence in their ability to modernize the game without taking away what makes the bones so great. Restoration Games is aiming to have Dark Tower “provide players with interesting choices about which quests to pursue, how to best use resources to keep the growing evil in check, and when to make that final decision to assault the tower.”

Justin D. Jacobson, Restoration Games President, said, “For its time, Dark Tower was a technological marvel and the very embodiment of spectacle. We always approach a restoration by asking: What is the soul of the game? For Dark Tower, no question, it was that cutting-edge gizmo fused with a grand fantasy setting. We know we’ll have to do something that will blow today’s gamers away.” He goes on to assure us that the technological elements will “push the envelope for what board games can do”.

As for the core mechanics, Daviau and Childress have already begun work on the game, along with Restoration Game’s Tinker-In-Chief, J.R. Honeycutt.  One major change that Dark Tower will have, however, is the switch from a competitive game in which players are searching the four realms for three keys to unlock the Tower’s gate to a cooperative game in which players are working together to defeat the Tower. As Daviau stated, “We always believed that, had it come out today, Dark Tower would have been a cooperative game. The real threat is that imposing tower. It will take all of the players working together to defeat it.”

Though the game is still in its early stages, Restoration Games said that one of the reasons for this announcement is to allow for significant playtesting without needing to keep everything under wraps.

My mind is already aflutter with all the cool things the Restoration Games team might do to this beloved electronic board game. Though we may not get an epic commercial like the original game had, with Orson Welles introducing us to the world of Dark Tower and his victorious journey therein, there is still plenty else to be excited about. Will the Tower be like a medieval Alexa in every box? Will we use our phones to keep track of our warrior armies and food rations? I’m sure Restoration Games has thought of much more creative ideas than mine and I can’t wait to find out what they are.

What classic board game is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!

More Boardgame Goodness!

Image Credits: Milton Bradley, Restoration Games

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darastar
43 days ago
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My parents had (still have?) a copy of Dark Tower when I was a kid, and I definitely played it a couple times. An amazing game, and I'm so glad it's getting a comeback!
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Are you the bird or the sloth?

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Are you the bird or the sloth? 

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darastar
70 days ago
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I am the bird.
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