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With spring comes spring cleaning. The Carroll County Public Library provides a service that can assist you with this process.
We accept donations. The staff would revolt if I did not clarify this just a little bit. We accept gently used books, magazines, DVDs and music CDs that have been stored indoors. We don’t mean to be picky, but we don’t like the critters that usually come with items that have been kept in storage units or sheds.
Books and magazines seem to be their favorite place to hide, eat or make a cozy home. This is another way we try to implement the three green Rs — reduce, reuse or recycle. A lot of work goes into processing donations when they are brought in. But the return makes it totally worthwhile.
What do we do with donations? We look at the condition and, if acceptable, check to see if it fits into our collection. Many times, they duplicate items we already have, so we try to find another useful place for them.
Paperbacks and magazine can be used in our outreach collection. We have stations set up at various assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, post offices and laundromats throughout Carroll County. We have recently added Carroll County Memorial Hospital and General Butler State Resort Park.
These items are lent out by the honor system. Many times, people will take one copy and leave another copy they want to donate. This works out well and we feel this is a valuable service we provide the community.
Those items we cannot use in our collection or through outreach are sold in our ongoing book sale. This year we have earmarked book sale funds for a specific purpose.
Last May, when I attended the Carroll County High School Academic Banquet, I was really impressed by how the community rallied to support the new graduates. As I left, I was moved to action to generate funds to supplement our scholarships, but I was not sure how I could do this without negatively affecting our patrons.
Because a majority of things sold are items donated by the community, I felt this would be a good place to generate revenue to support our scholarship fund. This year, we will more than double our existing scholarship fund. I am excited to continue this program and hope next year we can continue to double our efforts.
Hillary Arney is director of the Carroll County Public Library.