Friday, March 27, 2009

Good Stewardship in Tough Financial Times

How to Get More Mileage from Your Used Books and a Bigger Bang for Your Buck

Would you rather:
  1. Donate money to support the Hope International University Darling Library?
  2. Donate books to support the Darling Library?
  3. Raise funds for global literacy?
  4. Make a dent in landfills?
  5. Buy books at a great price?
Guess what? You don’t have to choose! You can do all of the above in two very easy ways: You can donate books to the Darling Library and/or you can buy used books from the Darling Library’s online used book sale.

Here’s how it works.

We consider each donated book carefully. We receive many duplicate donations as well as books that do not fit in our collection (children’s books, cookbooks, etc.) While it is common for a library to have an ongoing book sale, it takes space and personnel to manage it – two resources that are at a premium in the Darling Library. Therefore, we have commissioned Better World Books to manage our book sale online. They send us packing materials and pay for shipping. We box up the books and send them to their headquarters. The only thing left for our staff to do is receive a quarterly check from the sale of those books. We now receive more money annually for discarded books than we ever did from on campus book sale revenues. This money can be used to purchase books we do need in our collection.

If you don’t have any books to donate but need to buy books instead, you could still support the Darling Library through the Better World Books online store. Before you go to Amazon or another bookseller, go to and enter our zip code (92831). From here you can browse or search the Darling Library’s online sidewalk books sale. We get a quarterly check and the satisfaction of knowing we have partnered together to make an impact on the world. Of course, you can also shop the entire BWB database of used books and support other libraries and literacy programs if our sale does not include books you need.

Better World Books collects used books and textbooks through a network of college campuses and partnerships with libraries nationwide (including ours) then sells these books online to fund literacy initiatives worldwide. Because of the personal passion of our Acquisitions Manager, Sarah Kimakwa, the Darling Library has chosen to support Books for Africa ( with proceeds from our unwanted books.

Especially in these economic hard times, it makes good stewardship sense to purchase used books from Better World Books and to donate books you don’t need to us.

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