Do you plan on donating your genealogy books to a local library? Chances are, the library will refuse the donation. An article by Nick Douglas in the LifeHacker web site at http://bit.ly/2rR2Ej3 describes several reasons why.
I already knew some of the information in Nick Douglas’s article but I did learn some new information:
“Here’s What to Do With All Those Books
“Well, the library probably told you where else to donate them. You could make money (or store credit) by selling them to a used bookstore. Or, and this will shock you, you’re allowed to throw them out. ‘It’s part of the book circle of life!’ says Anderson.
“It might feel weird! Books are magic. But they’re also produced in mass quantities, and now they’re all digitized as well. If your book is at all rare, it’s selling for lots of money on Amazon and AbeBooks, and that’s where you should take it. Otherwise don’t worry, there are plenty of copies somewhere for anyone who wants to read them. If your library doesn’t have this book, suggest that they buy a copy. They’d rather have a new one from a vendor, honestly.”
In addition to the reasons mentioned by Nick Douglas, I will point out that most libraries already have a physical space problem. In fact, most libraries already throw away many books every year in order to make room for newer books that are far more likely to be requested by the library’s users! If a big-city library already covers a city block, just imagine how big an expansion the taxpayers would have to fund in order to store all the books that might be donated (most of which are probably duplicates of books the library already owns or can obtain via Inter Library Loan or as an electronic copy). In many cases, in order to house all the potential donations, the one-city-block library might have to be expanded to cover several city blocks! I doubt if the local taxpayers will pay for that.
I do suspect that a small library might welcome a donation of your genealogy books if the library doesn’t already have copies of the same books and if the books are not available via Inter Library Loan and if the books are not already available as electronic copies and if the library has a significant number of patrons who are interested in genealogy. However, I would always suggest asking the librarians first of their interest before you start boxing up the “donations.”
Yes, digitizing books whenever possible appears to still be the best solution for libraries. It saves space, reduces costs, and yet the information is always available upon a patron’s request.