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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 — and in January to March of this year we catalogued 270 donations valued at $5,013. These huge figures show 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 Similarly, travel books with out-of-date hotel and restaurant information are not useful.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 have 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.

Request for travel speakers

Have you dined in Denmark? Hiked in the Himalayas? Cuddled a koala down under? We are looking for seven presenters for “Armchair Travel Talks,” a summer reading program about world travel on Thursday, June 30, from 5-7 p.m. Each speaker will have a maximum of 15 minutes to share stories and digital photos from a recent excursion to an international location. We are hoping to get all seven continents represented. Please call Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, assistant director, at the library at 264-2209 if you are interested.

Large print mysteries

“Buttons and Bones” by Monica Ferris is the latest in the Needlecraft mystery series. “Mourning Glory” by Susan Wittig Albert is the latest in the China Bayles mystery series. “Love You More” by Lisa Gardner explores the aftermath of a state police trooper’s apparently shooting her husband in self defense. “I’ll Walk Alone” by Mary Higgins Clark follows the life of a woman indicted for the kidnapping of her own son.

Large print suspense

“Live Wire” by Harlan Coben follows a family after an anonymous Facebook post questions the paternity of a couple’s unborn child. “Eve” by Iris Johansen tells of a forensic sculptor whose mission is to bring closure to families who have faced the agony of a missing child. “Save Me” by Lisa Scottoline addresses the issue of bullying in schools. “Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle” by Ann B. Ross follows Miss Julia on several exploits after she breaks her promise to mind her own business.

Other large print

“Already Home” by Susan Mallery is about a woman trying to make a new life for herself when her birth parents, aging hippies, reenter her life. “The Knitting Diaries” provides three new stories, with knitting patterns included, by Debbie Macomber, Susan Mallery and Christina Skye. “Keep a Little Secret” by Dorothy Garlock is an Americana romance set in Oklahoma.

More mysteries and thrillers

“The Bone House” by Brian Freeman is the author’s first standalone thriller since his Jonathan Stride novels. “The Fifth Witness” by Michael Connelly is the latest legal thriller featuring Mickey Haller. “Crunch Time” by Diane Mott Davidson is the latest mystery featuring Colorado caterer and sleuth Goldy Schultz. “Mobbed” by Carol Higgins Clark is the latest in the Regan Reilly series. “Devious” by Lisa Jackson is the latest suspense story featuring detectives Rick Benz and Reuben Montoya. “The Troubled Man” by Henning Mankell is the latest in the series featuring Stockholm Detective Kurt Wallander.

Thanks to our donors

A special thank you to the Women’s Club of Pagosa Springs for donating the money to purchase the nesting chairs for the meeting room. For books and materials this week, we thank many donors, all of whom wanted to be anonymous.


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

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