Nov 13, 2013 7:16 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

Lafayette Public Library To Purge Thousands Of Old, Damaged Books

As renovations continue at the Lafayette Public Library, thousands of damaged and outdated books are being removed from the public library system. This year, 25,000 to 30,000 books will either be trashed, recycled or put up for sale.

Books, like the copy of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" Lafayette Parish Library Administrator Teresa Elberson pointed to as an example, are badly damaged and have seen better days.

"It's been taped it's been soiled it's just not in great shape," Elberson said. "We're going to get rid of this. We won't be able to recycle this so we'll probably throw it away the edges are pretty bad. But we're going to re-order this book because we can't live without 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid.'"

Hard cover books with pages that have been taped up and are falling apart will be thrown out next year. However, damaged paperback books will be recycled. Elberson says some books are hard to let go.

"No one has picked up this book in 16 years," Elberson said. "It's been on our shelves it's pristine but that's because no one has read it. And I didn't want to part with it but 16 years tells me the story on this book. There's nothing I'm going to do to help this book."

As the library packs up and gets rid of books, replacing them is also a priority. Next year, the library has $475,000 in its budget to buy new books.

"We have people constantly evaluating our collection, looking to see what needs to be replaced and what needs to be updated at all times, and it's a constant process," Elberson said. "We have a lot of books coming in and a lot of books coming out."

The new and improved library is expected to re-open next fall. Because the books are parish property, the LCG council had to pass a resolution last week authorizing the library to get rid of 24,511 books and other materials. The resolution also allows for the sale of more than 6,000 books.



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