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Book sales, crystal balls and the 21st century

Llibraries must change in order to be relevant to their communities. The Seniorita breaks down what that means for the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District.

As are all libraries, the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District is positioning itself to be vital and vibrant for now and the future.  The only thing we know for certain is that libraries must change if they are to continue to be relevant to their communities.  As books emerge in new formats, access  points change almost as fast as the many issues in digital rights management.

As part of its commitment to staying relevant, the Library is revamping its collection to make sure it is up-to-date and as useful as possible.  We have removed approximately 8,000 books from the collection.  You might well wonder how we chose which books to get rid of.  The criteria were both simple and complex.  If a book had not circulated in four years or was in poor condition, it was removed.  Librarians used their judgment in evaluating each volume.  For instance, major classics in a genre were retained even if they had not circulated.

The space formerly devoted to shelving these books is being redesigned into an inviting leisure area on our mezzanine.  Our patrons will be able to browse books and magazines and read or listen to them from comfortable chairs.  Laptops will be available; coffee will be offered.

You might also wonder what’s happening to those 8,000 books.  Rest assured, they are not going to the dumpster.  We have signed a contract with Better World Books, a company that will sell the books online and send the Friends of the Library a quarterly check for the proceeds.  To date, Better World books has picked up almost 200 cartons of books and sold over 600 of them.  If you want to take a look at what’s for sale, go to Better World Books.

Their site is full of useful information and statistics about the books.  Check it out!

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