I handled lots of books yesterday. Three stand out in my mind. The books were My Life in France by Julia Child, High on Arrival by Mackenzie Phillips and Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler and Grant Blackwood.
What do these books have in common? They were all donated to the Friends. Two were just published this year. The Julia Child book is more popular now than when it was published because of the movie Julia and Julie with Meryl Streep. If you walked into any Fairfax County Library you would not be able to check them out. All available copies are already checked out. If you placed a hold on any of these books, you would join a long list of people who would like to read the same book.
Where are these books now? I didn't save them for our sale next April. I didn't list them on Amazon. I gave them to the right person who will see to it that they are added to the system's collection. The books will soon be circulating, allowing a few people to read the book a little sooner than might otherwise have been the case.
The Friends don't believe in giving money to the library to buy books for the collection. We believe the county should be funding the collection. We are happy to give actual books to the library to build the collection. It is a subtle distinction. We gave up a few dollars in possible sales next April while the library gained much needed material now.