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Better World Books Library Discards & Donation Program Helps Libraries Fill the Fundraising Gap While Supporting Literacy Programs and Protecting the Environment

Submitted by: Better World Books

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Mar 18, 2008 – 02:00 PM EST


Socially Responsible Online Book Seller Now Partnering with 900+ Libraries Nationwide

Mar. 18 /CSRwire/ - MISHAWAKA, IN. - March 18, 2008 – Online bookseller Better World Books today announced that it distributed more than $470,000 in proceeds from its Library Discards & Donations Program to hundreds of city, county and university libraries in 2007, providing library systems with much-needed resources to pay for basic operations, staff salaries and the acquisition of new materials. With library funding cuts on the rise nationwide, Better World Books hopes that more libraries will embrace the unique fundraising opportunities that the company’s Library Discards & Donations Program provides.

Better World Books collects discarded and donated books from more than 900+ libraries nationwide and resells them through 18 online marketplaces, including BetterWorld.com, Amazon.com and Half.com. Throughout the company's five-year history, it has generated over $1.4 million in funding for libraries and secondhand stores and an additional $2.7 million in funding for non-profit literacy initiatives.

"The Better World Books Library Discards & Donations Program offers libraries an innovative way to manage their library discards and gift book donations – generating a new source of revenue while also funding literacy and helping protect the environment," says Walter Sears, director for Better World Books’ library division. "We know librarians would rather spend time serving patrons than preparing for sidewalk sales, so we make it easy for them to monetize their surplus material with minimal effort and no extra fees."

Libraries routinely receive gift book donations, which include countless items that do not meet their collection development criteria. In the past, yearly book sales were the primary way to purge surplus material. Now Better World Books offers libraries a more resourceful approach to manage their collections. Because Better World Books sells online to a worldwide market, its sales reach a diverse group of buyers. Operating efficiencies, a two million person customer base and patented pricing and inventory software enable the company to maximize the value of every book it sells.

In the last three years Better World Books sales helped raise more than $121,000 for the Brooklyn Public Library system, $143,000 for Howard County (MD) Library, and $19,000 for The Ohio State University Libraries. Hundreds of others have benefited as well.

We've raised significant funds by incorporating Better World Books' user-friendly process into our branches' regular weeding practices," says Christine Stenstrom, manager of collection projects, Brooklyn Public Library. "Better World Books has offered a solution that meets all our needs."

How the Discards & Donations / Online Sidewalk Sale Program Works

  • Better World Books provides a custom-tailored solution for shipping your Discards & Donations to Better World Books, at no cost to your library.

  • Upon receipt, Better World Books catalogs, prices and inventories salable books and returns a percentage of net proceeds from sales back to the participating library.

  • An additional percentage of net proceeds from sales are paid to a literacy partner.

  • An online web portal allows clients to check the status of their inventory and sales at any given time.

  • The participating library receives a quarterly commission check. The quarterly payout range is varied, with some libraries raising enough funds to purchase a new computer, to some libraries raising enough funds for one year of a salaried position.

    About Better World Books

    Better World Books (www.BetterWorld.com) is a for-profit social enterprise that collects and sells books online to fund literacy initiatives worldwide. With more than two million new and used titles in stock, Better World Books is a self-sustaining, triple-bottom-line company that balances the social, economic and environmental values of its stakeholders. Since its founding in 2003, the Mishawaka, Ind.-based company has raised $4.15 million for its non-profit literacy, library and college partners; diverted more than 6200 tons of books from landfills; achieved 1725 tons of carbon offsets through carbon-neutral shipping (in partnership with carbonfund.org); and created more than 175 full-time jobs with meaningful benefits. Better World Books is a 2008 Fast Company Social Capitalist Award Winner and certified Founding B Corporation(TM) (www.bcorporation.net).

  • For more information, please contact:

    Phone: 206-324-0403
    Phone: 800-894-0242 ext. 772


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