Monday, May 11, 2015

What happens to unwanted books?

By Ove Overmyer

From time to time, library workers, book sellers and avid readers everywhere are confronted with the age-old conundrum of deciding what to do with older unwanted books that do not circulate or no one wants to buy or read. This is especially true after libraries hold their annual books sales-- and contemplate the next steps for those titles left on the shelves. Some library purists will tell you that every book should live forever; that’s not practical, nor is it true. In fact, there are plenty of good options for a book’s end of life. Every book has its own provenance-- and some are just doomed for failure at some point. Here are some insights on what might just happen to some everyday books that have lost their appeal or usefulness.

The rise of electronic books
It’s hard to talk about the demise of printed books without first mentioning the use of electronic books. With the advent of e-readers and devices that make it easy to carry a lot of books around, some readers have speculated that e-books will eventually kill printed books altogether. Not so fast! As a matter of fact, publishers large and small keep printing hardcover and paperback books-- and librarians and the general public have not stopped buying and devouring them. Recent studies indicate the printed book is going nowhere-- and small and large printers and publishers have no plans on slowing down production anytime soon.

Here are some facts. Nicholas Carr of The Wall Street Journal writes, “It's looking like traditional books are going to be around for a long while, and maybe forever.” He argues that e-books are probably best suited to complement traditional reading, rather than totally replacing it. Here's the biggest reason why: 59 percent of Americans have no interest in buying an e-book, according to a 2012 survey by Bowker Market Research.

Carr also assembled a bunch of other surveys that, taken together, show how the printed book isn't on its deathbed-- just yet anyway. So, as library collections are weeded and titles are de-accessioned, chances are that more books will be printed and bought to fill our library shelves and your retail bookstore. Studies also show that growth in e-books sales is slowing.

Book donations in the United States
Most public libraries in the United States accept gift books with the proviso that the library is free to decide whether to keep the book in the library's collection, put it in a book sale to raise funds for the library, or discard it if it proves to have no purpose or value. Persons seeking to donate books to libraries are encouraged to contact their local library and ask about the donation process first so reasonable expectations are matched.

Library workers also suggest contacting your state library. A public library or academic library in your area can supply the address and telephone number for your state library (often a toll-free call for in-state residents).  Additionally, there are many private groups that distribute book donations -- but most only distribute new books. Donations of used books are not generally accepted by these organizations.

Book donations to countries overseas
There are several organizations that distribute books to other countries. Many of these organizations distribute books overseas at no cost to the donating person or library other than shipping costs to the U.S. facility. As an example, your local Rotarians are steeped in their mission to get new books and related materials into the hands of needy children around the world.

Other book donation programs
Many U.S. prisons, penal institutions and nonprofit entities are looking for book donations. The American Library Association (ALA) provides a Prisoner Resource List of groups accepting donated books for institutions all across the country. There's also a map and a full page of links to Other Books to Prisoners Programs available through the ALA. Some libraries have donation guidelines posted on their website; others you will need to contact by phone. Your local library can provide acceptable donation guidelines.

Remember, not all books have a resale value on the Internet; therefore, we encourage book donors to do their homework first and find out whether the materials are easy or difficult to sell before contacting their local library.

Altered books
You may ask, “Can physical books serve any other purpose?” Well, all you would need to do is ask the artist living next door to you. An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original character into a different form, altering its appearance or its original meaning. Altered book art is becoming increasing popular these days and can fetch hefty sums in the marketplace.

Recycled books and library discards
Last but not least, some library books eventually end up at paper recycling centers and are processed into raw materials. Sadly, books that are selected for recycling have reached their end of life—only to be reincarnated. Many times old recycled books become new books or magazines, yielding eco-friendly materials that continue to inspire, educate and entertain audiences everywhere.

In conclusion
This article just scratches the surface addressing issues around accountability and proper handling of books nearing end of life-- and where those books might go to die. Truth be told, booksellers and library advocates everywhere make educated critical decisions daily to explore what options and best practices are available when considering where a book might go next. Rest assured, most library professionals are master stewards of taxpayer dollars and usually make the right decisions. Library patrons can do their part educating readers everywhere on proper end-of-life book handling by starting a conversation in their community today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Union to Stage Rally at the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transit Authority

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 282 and their supporters will make a statement regarding recent decisions made by CEO Bill Carpenter

Rochester, NY-- On Thursday, May 7, 2015, members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 282 and their supporters will rally at the RGRTA headquarters this Thursday protesting the decisions made by CEO Bill Carpenter that will cost 144 workers their jobs, and leave the Rochester City School District trying to figure out transportation for 9,000 students to and from school as of July 1st of this year. 

The decision by Bill Carpenter to pull the plug on busing city school students came without a vote from the board, and is heavily contested by the school district and the workers who are employed by the RGRTA. Carpenter defended his decision as a resolution to recent violence in the downtown transit center.

“It goes without saying that ATU Local 282 Executives and members want to see an end to violence at the Transit Center,” says Local 282’s President, Jacques Chapman. “The solution, however, is certainly not what Bill Carpenter is proposing.”

Chapman warns, that if fully implemented, Carpenter's plan will trigger consequences the CEO does not want to make public.  7000 student riders whose express transfer buses never went to the Transit Center now will be penalized and forced to take regular line service buses to the Transit Center potentially leaving no seats or standing room for regular paying customers.  Because of the decision not to renew the Rochester City School District contract, which had been subsidizing RTS operations, bus fares will have to be increased.  Eliminating 40 maintenance personnel will strain that department so much that techs will have difficulty maintaining and repairing buses causing even more daily cuts and missed trips for scheduled route service leaving more customers on the street.

The workers and supporters of the RTS services will be at a rally calling for the replacement of Bill Carpenter as CEO of the RGRTA to the Board of Commissioners with a competent CEO who can manage in adversity and efficiently utilize available resources. 

WHEN: Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: RGRTA Headquarters located at 1372 E. Main St. in Rochester, NY 14609

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2015 George M. Growney Scholarship Award Winners Announced; Award Ceremony Slated for June 1

Webster, N.Y.—On Monday, June 1, CSEA Monroe County Local 828 Executive Board, Local 828 Scholarship Committee and CSEA Retirees Local 902 will host the 23rd Annual Scholarship Award Dinner at Liberty Lodge in Finn Park, 850 Maple Dr., Webster, N.Y.

At the picnic supper, Local officers will formally announce the winners of the CSEA Local 828 George M. Growney Memorial Scholarships, Unit 7400 and the Jane McManus Scholarship Award for 2015. This year, $10,000.00 will be awarded to deserving area students whose parents or caregivers are members in good standing of CSEA Monroe County Local 828.

Since 1993, CSEA Local 828 has awarded over $140,000 in scholarship prize money. In 1993, the Monroe County Employees Unit 7400, the largest Unit in the Local, created their own scholarship program and have distributed more than $23,000.

George M. Growney Memorial Scholarships Local 828 & Unit 7400

Mr. Growney was a long time local labor leader and activist. He was employed as a probation officer with Monroe County. He served as local president for nearly two decades before his retirement in 1995. George had a passion for kids to succeed, and would be proud that his union brothers and sisters have carried on his legacy of love and commitment to youth. George M. Growney died on August 10, 1997. The scholarship program was named in his honor in 1998—one year after his passing.

“This is one of the best things we do as union activists,” said Bess Watts, President of Local 828. She added, “It’s very rewarding to know we are helping our young people succeed in life.”

CSEA Local 828 Scholarships are open to graduating high school seniors whose parents and caregivers are members or agency shop fee payers of Monroe County Local 828. The scholarship committees have reviewed thousands of applications in the past 23 years, which demonstrates the significant need of financial resources for young adults continuing their formal education. Scholarships applicants are judged on academic achievement, a written essay, financial need and potential.

Jane McManus Scholarship Unit 7420

Jane McManus
This year, no applicant met the general criteria to win the Jane McManus Scholarship. Therefore, the funds for this year will roll over to the 2016 Scholarship.

In 1974, Jane McManus started her public service career at the Rochester Public Library as a Senior Library Clerk. While a full-time employee, she also worked in the Literature and Local History Divisions. Shortly thereafter, Jane was promoted to part-time Library Assistant while working in the Reynolds Audio-Visual Department of the Central Library. In 1991, she transferred to the Winton Branch Library and has been The Story Lady for over two decades.

In 1993, Jane was appointed to the Part-Time Benefits Committee at the Rochester Public Library. In 1995, Jane was one of the founding members who organized and established CSEA Local 828 Unit 7420. Jane was unanimously elected as the first ever President of the City of Rochester Library Workers Unit, where she remained as President of the Unit until April 2006.

Jane remains active in CSEA serving as a Steward, Contract Negotiations Team member, Grievance Rep, member of the Local 828 Health & Safety Committee, and member of the Local 828 Scholarship Committee. She’s a strong advocate for workers’ rights and childhood education. Her CSEA part time library co-workers in Unit 7420 proposed that a scholarship be named in her honor in 2010. They did so knowing full well that Jane's passion, leadership abilities and vision should be forever acknowledged in perpetuity. After 41 years of public service, Jane is planning her retirement for sometime this fall.

Here is a list of the 2015 Scholarship Award winners:

* Winners in red ink are Unit 7400 winners. Click on image for a larger view.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rochester Unite For Marriage Rally Slated for Monday, April 27

Rochester, NY will host Unite for Marriage rally April 27

Rochester, NY-- This year, hundreds of local organizers across the country are working to plan events in communities large and small, conservative and liberal, and in all corners of the country to show that America is ready for marriage equality. Once again, Rochester, NY will be on that map. On Monday, April 27 a coalition of local organizations will be sponsoring a rally in front of the Kenneth Keating Federal Building, 100 State Street, Rochester, NY  14614 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm to call for equal protections for all citizens of the United States.

The national strategy to win marriage for same-sex couples has always focused on a final victory at the U.S. Supreme Court. In the past year alone, there have been 65 rulings in favor of marriage for same-sex couples -- clearly demonstrating that the country is ready and that the age-old arguments against the freedom to marry simply don’t survive judicial review.
Finally, the question of whether same-sex couples everywhere can marry will have its day before our nation’s highest court. In January, the Court granted review of cases from four states - Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee – with oral arguments to be held this week. This historic moment follows years of steady momentum, from increasing public support, to four referendum victories in 2012, to even the Court itself, when it denied petitions in five marriage cases in October 2014, thereby allowing the freedom to marry to take effect in 11 states.
Local advocates are raising their voices once more to proclaim it’s time for a national resolution by the Supreme Court when nearly 72 percent of Americans live in a state that grants marriage to same-sex couples. There are now just 13 states without the freedom to marry, and those families continue to face harm and discrimination every single day.
Scott Fearing, Executive Director of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley says when it comes to earning a living, having a place to call home, and sharing in public accommodations, everyone should be treated fairly under the law. He added, “All hardworking people deserve the right to marry and should have the opportunity to earn a living and provide for their families. Marriage provides that stability for all our working families.”

This event is sponsored in part by The Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, The MOCHA Center, Pride at Work, AFL-CIO, Marriage Equality USA-Rochester, Empire State Pride Agenda and New York Civil Liberties Union among others.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Rochester, NY -- Let’s face some facts-- wealthy billion dollar corporations and the CEO's who run them dole out poverty wages so they can continue to exponentially line their own pockets. It's time to say, "Enough is Enough!"

We are asking all community members to join us tomorrow at our local Fight for 15 Rally-- and join tens of thousands of other concerned citizens around the country who care about eradicating poverty and reducing income inequality in our local communities. Please join us on Tax Day, April 15, 5:00 pm, at the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York!

In recent years, a growing movement has taken the public's attention calling for higher wages for all people. This movement, initiated by fast food workers has been taken up by airport workers, home health aides, Walmart workers, car wash workers, and thousands more.  We know that we're worth more, and we know that these multi-billion dollar corporations can afford to pay a living wage.

On April 15th, people around the world will make history as we hold rallies and marches demanding higher wages and economic justice in our communities. Thousands of working people will be marching in cities across the globe. We're making history and we're winning!

In Rochester, we will march with low-wage workers, church groups, unions, students, and community groups. Without hundreds of people taking bold, public action, nothing will change. It's time to march, time to chant, time to make our voices heard.

Organizers are requesting attendees to use the parking logistics information at the bottom of this page. The rally is on the Eastman Quadrangle, the Rush Rhees Library is the east end of the Quad. The march will proceed west on Elmwood Avenue to College Town (Mt Hope Avenue – east of UR Medical Center).

Organizations Endorsing Fight For Fifteen, Rochester, New York 

Metro Justice of Rochester
1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Rochester Area Local 215
Black Rose Anarchist Federation/FederaciĆ³n Anaquista Rosa Negra, Rochester
Buddhist Peace Fellowship Rochester Chapter
Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Parish
Citizen Action of New York
Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000)
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) Rochester Chapter
Downtown United Presbyterian Church Social Justice Committee
First Unitarian Church of Rochester Social Justice Council
First Universalist Church Social Justice Committee
Friends of St. Bridget’s
Greater Rochester Community of Churches/Faith in Action Network
Interfaith Impact of New York State
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 86
International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 118
National Organization of Women (NOW) Rochester Chapter
New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) Region 3
New York State United Teachers (NYSUT/AFT/NEA)
Pauperis Advocates, Inc
Pride at Work, AFL-CIO Rochester Finger Lakes Chapter
Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society (Roc/ACTS)
Rochester Committee on Latin America (ROCLA)
Rochester Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Rochester Regional Joint Board - Workers United
Rochester and Vicinity Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Service Employees International Union Local 200United
Sisters of Mercy - New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West - Justice Team
Sisters of Mercy - New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West - Leadership Team
Social Welfare Action Alliance Rochester Chapter
The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester (TIAR)
United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Local 1097
United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local One
Worker Justice Center of New York
Working Families Party of New York