I have recently discovered a program on the Dallas Public Library’s web site called Support Your Library – Be A Book Hero. I have donated books to the Genealogy Division in the past, but this approach is different.
A person specifies the book, DVD, or CD that he/she wants to donate either by selecting from a list on the DPL web site or recommending a title to purchase. The donor pays a discounted, tax-deductible price for the item (including cataloging and processing fees), the acquisition is expedited through the system, and the donor gets first dibs on the title when it is received. The material is the property of the Dallas Public Library, however; the donor does not get to keep it.
A caveat – this program is aimed at “popular” items, not the reference volumes that the Genealogy Division usually deals with, because the titles have to be available through the 3rd-party outsourcer with which the Library contracts for its cataloging and processing. This is what originally interested me, however, because I personally support the Genealogy Division’s recent decision to purchase materials that can be checked out. I feel that we need to expand family history research material to include circulating titles that appeal to a wider audience.
The two titles that I have purchased/donated so far are How to Archive Family Keepsakes by Denise Levenick and Only a Few Bones by John Colletta, just to give you an idea of the range of possibilities.
As an individual, I’ll be donating more titles through this program because it’s a win-win deal. I get to read the items first and the Library is able to add new material to its catalog which benefits the whole community.
Details about Be A Book Hero are on the Library’s web site.