Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You and everyone's mothers collect National Geographic

chat user: I have 4-5 years worth of old National Geographic.
Ask a Librarian: thinks: Yes?...And? Are you looking to donate them to the library? or are you just bragging?
chat user: yeah that.
chat user: I want to donate them to you.
Ask a Librarian: Unfortunately we do not accept magazine donations. I can provide you with a list of local places that will take your magazines.*
chat user: what about Haiti?
Ask a Librarian: ?
chat user: why aren't you collecting them to send to Haiti?

Oh, I don't know, maybe because Haiti has enough problems on its plate without worrying about your back issues of a magazine that's in English? We're also not collecting them to send to Haiti because it's a bad idea.

I get annoyed with a lot of the actual charity collections that we do because people are always donating garbage that they don't want to get rid of themselves under the guise of helping others. "Gently used" does not mean broken, stained, moldy, or ancient. We just finished a prom dress drive and I was horrified by the amount of navy blue business suits that Janet Reno wouldn't have accidently put on in the dark but somehow ended up in our donation box. You think a teenage girl today wants to wear this? To her prom? Remember how hard your eyes rolled when your cousin asked you to don that sea green monster pretending to be a bridesmaid dress? Well, throw it away then, don't keep it for 10 years and then think you're doing good by clogging up our donations box. The drive was called "Prom Dreams" not "Prom Nightmares"!

And don't even get me started on the encyclopedia donations. Chances are that since they don't publish Funk and Wagnalls anymore it isn't going to be something we want. This is a public library folks, not your personal archive.

*Side note: I actually collect some older National Geographic issues from the 1950's and 1960's, but I usually just tear out the retrotastic ads and recycle the rest.


  1. Hey, I got this lawnmower in the garage. Still has some gas in it, too. Want me to bring it by the library so you can send it to Haiti?

  2. Why is National Geographic the one patrons always think we want? Why not Hustler or even just something useful like ReadyMade? Also, when your friend's group disbands the donation problem goes into overdrive.

    The Haiti thing is hilarious and totally new to me.

  3. Oh, God, how I hate having to explain to people why National Geographic is something that we don't want. Usually, I just take them and then put them in the garbage pile once the patron leaves.