Seattle Public Library only sells donated books

Did you know you can’t donate books to the library? Doesn’t that seem backwards? I mean I get it, you can only have so many copies of the little train that could in the library, but.

Here is our materials donations policy:

The Library welcomes donations of books and other materials and accepts monetary contributions toward the purchase of materials. The Library reserves the right to decide the disposition of all gifts received. Gifts accepted for addition to the Library’s collection become the property of the Seattle Public Library and will be placed where most appropriate. Material not utilized in the Library’s collection will be transferred to the Friends of the Seattle Public Library, a non-profit organization, for use in their semi-annual book sales. The proceeds from the Friends of the Library book sales are donated to the Library in support of our mission, programs, and to enhance the Library’s collections.

So anyways, read The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind. You can get the book in pdf from the website, or send me an address and I’ll send you a copy of the book you can read and pass on.

3 thoughts on “Seattle Public Library only sells donated books

  1. rian_bean

    Well it looks like they will place some on the shelves, and sell off anything that they cant use. I know that when I had a decent sized fine from middle school for a book I never returned, they told me I could just replace the book and they would wipe the fine off my records.

    If you want to add books to the library, I think there is a way for you to request a book that they then purchase. Which would end up being almost the same as buying a copy yourself and donating it, as its your tax dollars that help support the library.

    Or you can go here:, and leave books around the city. A high number of these end up at the library.

  2. btm Post author

    I read online that they rarely put donated books in the collection, ‘rare’ was their choice of word. So I emailed the library and specifically asked about getting a book added to the collection that they had 3x the number of holds against that they had copies of. Their response confirmed that they were not interested, part of which was quoted above. All donation links on the SPL website go to Friends of the SPL, which says:

    Q: Where do book donations go?
    A: Most donations go to The Friends of The Seattle Public Library for the group’s twice-yearly book sales. On rare occasions, donations are added to the Library Collection. These are usually books of special or local interest.

    So forget the library, those jerks. I’ll just give the books away myself.

  3. Pingback: The Public Domain at btm.geek

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