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What happens to your donations of books and materials?

We recently heard that a rumor is going around our community saying the library no longer wants donations of hardcover books. This is not true. In fact, donations of new or gently used hardcover books and other materials like magazines, CDs and DVDs are vital to the ongoing operation of your library.

Without your help, our collection would be much less robust. In fact, in 2010 we added 1,230 items to our collection from donated materials — a huge figure that shows how much we rely on your generosity to serve our community well.

Many donors ask us what happens to their donations, especially if they do not see them on the library shelves. Let’s take a donated book as an example:

• First we check to see if we do not have that book in the library and want to add it to our collection. If yes, it is catalogued and put on the shelves.

• If we already have the book, we check to see if the donated one is in better condition. If yes, we will replace our older book with the newer, donated one.

• If the donated book is not needed for the collection, we still are grateful to receive it because we can sell it to raise money to buy other books. Books in so-so condition are put on the “For Sale” carts in the library and sold for the greatly discounted prices of 25 cents or five for $1. Books in good condition are saved for the annual Friends of the Library book sale where they still are a bargain. Last summer’s Friends book sale raised $5,832 for the library — another huge and wonderful figure.

What books can we not use? Mostly the answer revolves around dated nonfiction materials. Old medicine books are not added to the collection, of course, because current knowledge is essential to health and safety in medical fields. Similarly, travel books with out-of-date hotel and restaurant information are not useful. Nor are old atlases with countries no longer in existence, tax books discussing old tax law, or books extolling old technology — especially about computers.

Generally speaking, textbooks are of no interest to our patrons, especially those covering specialized fields. Once trendy business books that are now passe also are not popular. Nor are news magazines any older than a few weeks.

What types of donated books do we like best? Our favorites are your favorites. Experience, plus your responses to surveys over the years, has taught us that you like a wide variety of books from bestsellers to classics, fiction and nonfiction.

At the top of your wish lists are mysteries, historical fiction, bestsellers, thrillers, classics, contemporary fiction, fantasy and romance. Also popular are westerns, science fiction, Christian fiction and short stories.

English-born Alfred North Whitehead, a mathematician and philosopher, once said that — “No one achieves success without the help of others.” That’s certainly true of your library — and we are grateful for the generosity of all our donors.

Craft Circle

On the last Thursday afternoon of the month from 1-3 p.m., we host an informal needlecraft get-together. Bring a knitting, crocheting or needlework project to work on while you share advice and experience with others. No registration is necessary. This month’s gathering is today (Thursday, Jan. 27).

Seeking board members

If you love books and technology, believe the library is an integral part of our community, and want to make our library the best it can possibly be, then we want you on our board of trustees. We currently have two openings for three-year terms on the Sisson Library board. This is a volunteer position — no monetary compensation but lots of job satisfaction. The board meets monthly on the third Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. If you are interested in pursuing one of these two board seats, please send a letter of interest to Jackie Welch, Director, P.O. Box 849, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or email

Christian themes

“Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life” by Karen Armstrong is an impassioned yet practical book to help us make the world a more compassionate place. “Softly & Tenderly” by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck is the story of a women facing a trauma when she learns her husband has an illegitimate son.

Large print

“The Burning Range” by Joseph A. West is a western in the Ralph Compton series. “Somewhere Along the Way” by Jodi Thomas is a romance in the Harmony series by the “Queen of Texas romance.” “The Outlaws” by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV is part of the Presidential Agent series. “Damage” by John Lescroart is a detective novel set in San Francisco featuring Abe Glitsky.

Thanks to our donors

We are grateful for the generous donation from Thomas and Kathleen O’Donnell in memory of Joan Seielstad. For books and materials this week we thank Cindi Galabota, Susan Kanyur, Jenny Lguchi, Doris Prior and Elmer Thomas.


For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at