Anyone want to start a textbook-only library?

No one takes textbooks.

I have a few leftover from before I stopped buying textbooks. I figured I could donate them to a library. That way, other students could take advantage of the library the way I did.

But when I called my university library, they said they wouldn’t add my used texts to their collection. They’d only stick them on their sale shelf. So I was like, Fine, that’s kind of annoying, but it makes sense. The university library doesn’t want to undercut the university bookstore.

I decided to try the Louisville Free Public Library. With the intercity system, surely they’d take my books and put them to good, loaning use. But they didn’t either. When I asked, they specifically said no encyclopedias and no textbooks.

So what’s up with this? Is there a law against it, or are all the libraries just in cahoots together?

Maybe I’m missing something, but it looks to me like all these libraries are more concerned with keeping profits up for the book publishers than actually expanding education.

I mean, I’ve heard the argument that if all the books are free, there won’t be any incentive to write new books, and that might lead to less education in the long-run. I’m not buying that, though. To me, it looks like we’re just artificially creating work for the publishers and authors, work that doesn’t really need to be done.

In the short-run, maybe lots of educated people would lose their jobs if everyone donated their used textbooks to libraries. But in the long-run, wouldn’t it just free up their time and, in a way, force them to work on important stuff, not just shuffling things around every couple years to make money on book sales?

If there’s no law against it, someone should start a textbook-only library, a library where students are encouraged to donate their used textbooks for others to benefit from. I bet a lot of college students would actually get behind something like that.

Frankly, though, I think most textbooks will go digital soon, so it probably wouldn’t be a smart business move. Still, the textbook churn we have now is ridiculous, and the “no textbooks” libraries are getting on my last nerve.

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