Friday, July 11, 2008

Spring Cleaning: Donating Used Textbooks

Since I defended my dissertation back in May, I have been working on purging all the junk that I have been hanging onto these last 5 years (and probably longer). A few more of these spring cleaning posts will be coming since I have reorganized the pantry and we have been redoing the chameleon room, aka the office/guest room/clothing closet/camp gear closet.

One of my major projects was to go through all the journal articles I have ever printed. This was a huge time-consuming task because I did not just want to throw them in the recycle bin but make a large electronic "library" with the appropriate pdf of the document attached to each entry. Lets just say that I love
Endnote. During all of this cleaning I found 3 boxes of old textbooks, mostly from college. It has been incredibly difficult to figure out what to do with these books so that they are actually used. The Corportation for National and Community Service has an excellent list to get you started if you have books to donate. Textbooks are specific enough that the local libraries do not want them but I found several programs that donate textbooks to prisioners or children in other countries.

In San Diego donate them on the University of California, San Diego's campus bookstore called Groundworks Books (this is not the Price Center main bookstore). They will take ANY used textbook and donate them to prison libraries.

If you live in the Washington, DC, Philly, NYC areas check Books Through Bars for lists of wanted textbooks and contact information for drop-off sites. It is always a good idea to speak with the organization to find out if they will take your books before going out of your way to drop them off.

If you live in northern California check with the Global Book Exchange to see if they can use your textbooks. They also take books that are shipped to them but as they suggest on their website it is best to call them to inquire specifically about the books that you are donating.

If you have books and learning materials for elementary age children contact Books for Barrios that ships used books and various other items to the Philippines.

photo credit: Used by digivation


eMpTy said...

yay spring cleaning and yay philippines!

since you might be doing more spring cleaning in the coming months... i thought this was a great resource for what to do with things you want to get rid of... i was going to blog about it myself but it seems more pressing to let you know about it now.

deezzer said...

If you're in the US, you can actually call (845)839-8333 and put in the ISBN number. It'll then search for the best prices found on that book. If it goes for around 2 dollars or less, chances are it's obsolete and you'll know instantly instead of lugging that used textbook around.