The Dumpster at the Champaign Public Library

Snapped this pic of the contents of the dumpster at the Champaign Public Library the other day. Last fall I pulled a bike-trailer-full of books out of the dumpster (while being threatened with arrest), and while going through the books is a background project, my plan is to see if some of the rarer volumes are available in the area.

In Double Fold, as you probably know, Nicholson Baker makes a tidy argument for the renewal, among librarians, of the practice of archiving unique editions and copies of texts. (Double Fold is also an extended tirade against bad microfilming. Oye!)

As you can see from my pic (above), most of what gets tossed at my local library is far from unique, but I'd still like to see these books go somewhere other than the local landfill.


  1. WTF, Champaign Public Library?

    I'm sure the folks at UC Books to Prisoners (http://www.books2prisoners.org/) would be happy to take those books off their hands.

  2. For the non-unique books (and those that can't find a home elsewhere via books sales and/or donations), I wonder why recycling isn't an option.

  3. Anonymous1:51 PM

    Books to prisoners almost always has way too many books, but yeah I'm sure they will help if they can. The real travesty is that your local chain bookstores throw away tons of brand new books to make room on the shelves (just to get the same books in the next shipment). It's true.