Washington State Library (WSL) began this project informally in 2008 when Pierce County Library donated the leftover books from their first Community Reads program to us. A few years later the Ellensburg librarian Debbie DeSoer (now retired) proposed that we should “formalize” the program with the public library directors. At that time WSL presented the idea to the public library community that we could act as a clearinghouse for recycling book club reading kits and finding homes for leftover books from community reads to libraries in Washington state.
Ten years later the program has grown enormously with more than 10,000 books passing through our hands and into schools, hospital, and public libraries all over Washington. However as the program has grown, so has the time and effort needed to maintain it. So we decided to try a new method of connecting these books with their new homes.
How does it work?
If you’ve ever placed an online order it will be straightforward. Pretend you are shopping at a FREE bookstore. (Washington libraries only please!) Click on each book image for a brief description and to see how many copies are available. You can order up to the number of available copies but the “store” will not allow you to go any higher. Once you’ve chosen how many copies you’d like of a certain title, you can go back to the front page if you want to order copies of another title. These books are sent on a first come/first serve basis.
Once you’ve made your choices and added them to your cart, simply proceed to the checkout page and fill out your mailing information. Once finished, click submit and you’re good to go. You can even create an account which will store your information, making it even easier to order books the next time.
We plan to put reminders in WSL Updates as we add new books but we suggest bookmarking this page and checking back occasionally. We will add each new book as they arrive and Updates only goes out weekly.
Do you have books to donate?
Does your library have book club or Community Reads book collections you no longer need? We’d love to help you share them with other Washington Libraries. Please contact Leanna Hammond (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out how.