Fringe Box



Ethical Way of Recycling Unwanted School Library Books

Published on: 4 Apr, 2012
Updated on: 8 Apr, 2012

What does a school library do when it has a number of out of date or unpopular books? Bin them? Recycle them?

George Abbot School in Burpham has now found an exciting initiative that ethically recycles its unwanted books.

The secondary school uses the firm Better World Books, which takes the unwanted titles and sorts them, and in many cases passes them on to new readers.

Belinda Barrett, information centre assistant, at George Abbot School packs another box of out-dated and unwanted books from the school library.

Better World Books pays for the carriage of the books from the school to a warehouse. Once there they are scanned into the firm’s database and sorted. Books that are of no use are recycled in the normal way. Books that have a second-hand value are put up for sale. Books that don’t fit into either of these categories are used to support worldwide literacy initiatives.

Of the books that are sold, 15% goes back to the school to buy more books for its library and 5% goes to a chosen charity.

A school spokesman said: “It’s a a win win situation. Of the books we have recently sent off, 220 have been put up for sale, 60 have been donated to charity and 910 have been sent to be recycled.”

Of those 910 books that had no resale value, eight were too tatty and 19 books did not have an ISBN number.

School libraries (or information centres are they are now more commonly known within schools) are tasked with offering just the right number and balance of  books to their pupils. Librarians are continually buying new fiction books as well as up-to-date non-fiction titles.

George Abbot School is extremely pleased with the arrangement it has with Better World Books and glad that a good number of its old books are finding their way into the hands of new readers.

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