Book sale proceeds to fund library technology

Portland State’s Millar Library will use the proceeds from its book sale, running Nov. 2 ?” 5, toward improving the library and its technology.


“This is the only bit of money the library has to develop technology,” said Josh Hancock, gifts supervisor of the library. He added that the librarians will travel to various conferences concerning library improvements to see what kinds of new technology can be used at PSU.


“The information world is constantly changing,” said Claudia Weston, head of technical services at the library. “Librarians must keep up with the changes.” They are not merely purchasing more computers, which she said would do little good, but updating licensing, copyright information and information literacy skills among the staff.


She noted that these conferences are quite useful in teaching the staff new tricks and techniques that they can use to help students determine good sources when they are researching information with the library’s information system. Along with this, improving the library physically is also important.


Making sure that the books have a good place to be stored is essential, Weston said, noting that they have specific storage requirements in order to keep them in good condition. Hancock said that it is already becoming a problem, since recently a storage facility they used for extra books was destroyed and he has books piling up in his office.


The Multnomah County Library is holding a book sale this weekend, Oct. 21 ?” 24, through their support group the Friends of the Library. The proceeds from this sale, unlike at the Millar library, go toward three basic uses: making grants, advocacy in elections passing levies on the library and programs to help improve community use of the library.


The books from this sale are all donated books from private parties, none of which go into the county library system and all are five years old or newer. Any books the don’t sell at the Friends of the Library sale are donated to the Millar Library at Portland State, which in turn sells them at its sale.


According to Hancock, PSU receives donations from other libraries such as Forest Grove, as well as private donations. After books are donated, they are sorted by the librarians who decide which will be added to the library’s collection, and which will move on to the sale. Most books added to the collection are purchased, not donated, Hancock said.


Many books that go unsold are then donated to various charities and other such groups. Hancock said that after the last sale, he gave a pallet of books to the staff of Portland State’s Food for Thought Cafe, who arranged to have them sent to prisoners.


Hancock also hopes that Starbucks will be returning to the book sale. He said that during last May’s book sale, Starbucks sponsored the sale by giving out free coffee and donating up to $1000.


“This sale is a great way to provide inexpensive books for students,” Hancock said, adding that book buyers would snatch all the deals if the sale were not advertised primarily to students.