What do you do with old books?
What do you do with old books? Leave them in a stack beside your bed? Prop up a table leg? Do you send them to Goodwill, or sell them to Edward McKay?
As great as actual books are (as opposed to e-books), there is often an issue of what to do with them when you are finished with them. The absolute worst books to dispose of are probably old text books, and especially old LAW books! We here in the Professional Center Library have been faced with this problem more and more, as many more titles become available on-line. As we choose to access titles electronically, we are having to withdraw titles from the shelves, but then we must decide what to do with them….send them to the dump? For the excessive amount of books we do have to withdraw, we have recently partnered with the Z. Smith Reynolds Library to have our withdrawn books shipped to the Wilmington Paper Company where they are recycled. We are very proud to have found something environmentally responsible to do with materials no longer needed. Additionally we recycle our all of our ‘technotrash’ (CDs, printer cartridges, microfiche, microfilm, etc) by filling bins supplied to us by the Office of Sustainability.
On the Wake Forest campus, we have an Office of Sustainability whose mission is to “encourage and facilitate the collaborative efforts of faculty, students, and staff to generate knowledge, acquire skills, develop values, and initiate practices that contribute to a sustainable, high quality of life on campus, in the Triad, and across the globe.” We are excited to be able to participate in this sustainability effort here in the Professional Center Library. In an effort to be environmentally conscious, we have come up with some creative ideas on what to do with our used books. This week, we have created a display of ideas surrounding what one can do with various discarded library materials, ie. books, microfilm, compact discs, etc. Did you ever think of creating a planner from an old book? How about making a package bow from microfilm, or perhaps a gift bag from an old book jacket? These are just a few of the items that will be on display for the next several weeks in the Professional Center Library rotunda. The entire library staff has been participating in an effort to develop ways to use our withdrawn library material. Additionally, toward the end of the month, we will be creating a Christmas tree from our withdrawn books that we hope you find fun, beautiful, and festive!
So stop by the rotunda in the Professional Center Library. We hope you will be inspired to come up with creative ways to use your old books to help save our planet!