- AL Direct
10 Ways to Give Weeded Books a Second Life
1. Send them to Better World Books, a for-profit social enterprise that collects used books and sells them online to raise money for literacy initiatives worldwide. They have both a library discards and book recyclers program.
2. Put them on your library’s free cart or bookcase. Though the contents may be outdated, their images, designs and typography are often of value to creative minds.
3. Sell them at your library’s annual or continuous book sale.
4. Post them to your local freecycle network.
5. Send them to prison. Listings of programs that make book donations to prisons and prisoners are available on ALA’s Book Donation Programs Fact Sheet, and from the ALA Library and the Prison Book Program.
6. Check with preschools, literacy groups, senior centers, and other local nonprofits to inquire if they may want them. Children’s books and Spanish materials are often especially appreciated.
7. Connect with Berkeley-based artist Jim Rosenau, who turns hardback books with interesting titles, colors, and textures on their spine into attractive bookshelves and more that he offers through his This Into That website.
9. Raise funds for green programming with them. Create and then sell hollow books for hiding spare keys, secret notes, money or other valuable treasures. Hollow books can be made using a simple razor or an oscillating tool.
10. Challenge local high school, community college, or art school students to come up with new ideas for recycling weeded books. Award a prize for the best idea. Create a library display with the submitted entries and create some great PR buzz for your library at the same time.