|Books saved from Ill. university libraries|
|Written by Melissa Castor, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Wednesday, 26 August 2009 20:02|
An amendment to state law will now allow the state of Illinois’ university libraries to sell older, out-of-date and unused books.
Before the change to state law, university libraries had no choice but to throw away older books to make more shelf space for newer books.
Dane Ward, Milner associate dean said, "It was kind of a sad thing to see these garbage bins full of books."
Libraries placed out-of-date and older books on a circulating itemized list. The libraries then sent out this list to other universities, schools and public non-profit agencies.
But the process was difficult and libraries were mostly unsuccessful in finding new homes for the old books.
In fact, according to Ward, Milner Library discarded hundreds of books per year and recently the numbers have risen in the thousands.
"It seemed like such a waste that we were throwing away books that someone could find valuable," Ward said.
The bill was first proposed by Ward and passed two years later on Aug. 14 with the help of State Rep. Dan Brady and Gov. Pat Quinn. According to Ward, much of the work went behind the scenes in legislature.
"I just can’t say enough about Dan Brady. He’s a great guy," Ward said.
The bill amended the State Library Act and the State Property Control Act; both limited the ability for university libraries to make space on their shelves without throwing books away.
Chad Buckley of Milner collection development said, "We are very happy to see that the bill passed. It’s definitely a step in the right direction."
"It’s one of those rare moments in a person’s career where you do actually make an impact," Ward said.
Now that state university libraries are allowed to sell their books, not only will they no longer have to throw books away but they can use the profits towards the purchase of new books and other library materials including funding for databases, electronic books and other information technology.
Also, books can be sold to a wider audience than in the past, raising library funding.
In fact, according to Ward, the library may even be able to sell their books to a global market through eBay.
"Any little bit helps for the university library budgets," Ward said.
Not only will the university libraries benefit from the bill, but also the students, faculty and community in which they reside. In the case of ISU, the Bloomington-Normal community and much of central Illinois will benefit from the up-to-date materials.
"It will definitely benefit the curriculum, student learning and faculty research," Ward said.
Even the state of Illinois will benefit from the bill. According to Ward, the bill could save the state about $1 million per year.
"It’s been great to make this kind of contribution," Ward said.