The Library cannot directly receive monetary contributions other than those specifically designated for the Gift Fund. Other donations should be made to the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library. The Friends use these donations and the proceeds from its fundraising events to purchase special items that the Library could not afford to purchase from its budgeted funds. The Bellingham Public Library welcomes the donation of books and other items of a permanent nature to its collection. These gifts are accepted with the understanding that each will be evaluated in accordance with the criteria and objectives by which purchased materials are judged prior to addition to the permanent collection.
Over the years, the Library’s collection has been enriched by the donation of books, prints, periodicals and other materials which could not have been acquired otherwise. However, not all donated materials are added to the collection. These donations may be offered to other libraries or institutions as a gift or exchange or may be sold by the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library at one of its fundraising events.
Memorial gifts will be accepted under the same conditions. All accepted memorial gift books, however, will contain a bookplate noting the name of the donor and the individual in whose name the gift was made. The Library cannot directly receive monetary contributions other than those specifically deposited into the Gift Fund. Other donations should be made to the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library.
The Friends use these donations and the proceeds from its fundraising events to purchase special items that the Library could not afford to purchase from its budgeted funds. The library cannot give monetary appraisals of any items donated. IRS regulations and the Tax Reform Act of 1984 (section 155a) state that the appraiser must not be in the library that receives the item.
Donation Guidelines The library receives many thousands of donations of books and other library materials each year. Donated items that fill a need in the library collection are added, but most donations go directly to the book sale. We have learned from long experience what sells and what doesn’t. We have to be selective because of storage limitations and the labor involved in sorting so many items.
- The library accepts books published in the last 10 years in good to excellent condition.
- There should be no writing in the books and they should not be musty or dirty.
- Donations of more than 10 books should be packaged in a box with a lid that will not be returned.
- Hardcovers – should have dust jackets
- Paperbacks – must not be yellowed or have cracked spines and must have covers
- CDs and DVDs – must be in original packaging – We no longer accept VHS Tapes.
We cannot use any items in poor condition, with yellowed pages, highlighted text, or mildew and odors. We also cannot use Encyclopedia or reference sets, Magazines, Condensed books, or Text Books. We will not add these items to our collection and our experience shows that people will not buy them at book sales. If you are bringing them to us because you don’t have the heart to discard them, we just discard them for you, and you’ve wasted all that energy lugging heavy materials to the library! It is okay to recycle books that have lived the good life, given you pleasure, but are no longer in demand or useful! Really, it is! Below are some places in Bellingham where you can donate books that do not meet our donation guidelines, please be aware that these locations could change at any time.
- Paperback Recycling Programs Paperback items in poor condition with yellowed pages, highlighted text or mildew odor should be recycled. There are recycling bins that accept paperback books to benefit local organizations through www.paperretriever.com at: Bellingham Memorial Middle School, Bellingham High School, St. Brendan’s Church, and Clary Macy Elementary School.
- Book Donations Books older than 10 years old, hardcovers without dust jackets, worn paperbacks, encyclopedias or reference sets, condensed books and textbooks can be donated to nonprofit organizations at bins in the following locations: Larry’s Package Store donates to Hands Across the Water, Breakfast Nook to Reading Tree Books for Charity, and St. Brendan’s Church to BookAngels.org.