Book Sorting for Reuse and Recycling - Friends of Watchung Library


Monday 4/20 12:45pm


Watchung Library, 12 Stirling Road, Watchung NJ



It's a rainy Monday in Watchung, and what better way is there to spend a rainy day than with BOOKS?  Come help us sort used books, which might otherwise have gone to a landfill, for reuse and recycling.  Books to be sorted come from library patron donations and from library discards.  We'll be sorting books into these categories:

  • Books that we can sell at Second Story Books.  Proceeds will support Watchung Library programs and services, particularly the children's summer reading program.
  • Books to be donated to schools.  We have donated books, particularly nonfiction with sturdy bindings, to our own schools in Watchung, as well as to schools in neighboring communities, notably Plainfield.
  • Books to be donated to literacy programs.  We have donated books to literacy programs in China, Africa, and socio-economically challenged communities here in New Jersey.
  • Books to be donated to a nonprofit organization.  We get more books donated than we can display and sell, so we share the bounty.

  • Books that are not reusable.  These will be recycled.

Stop by and help.  There are hundreds of books to sort, but don't let that scare you!  No experience necessary; there will be trained book sorters to guide you. 

Event Log


Libraries in the Somerset County Library System are directed by the county to delete selected books from their collections from time to time.  Today, we discovered that books about gardening were recently deleted.  Perfect!  We pulled all the garden books out from the boxes to be sorted, pulled off the icky, greasy library plastic covers, and put back the like-new dust jackets (which hav been protected while the books circulated by said icky plastic covers); then we had nearly new looking books.  We priced them and arranged them in fruit trays (collected from grocery stores and farmers' markets for reuse).  We set these aside for the table we will be setting up at Watchung's upcoming farmer's markets.  There were books about gardening to attract birds, organic lawncare, community gardens, a guide to bee keeping, and more.  We figure that people coming to the farmer's market will be interested in gardening.

In addition, we consolidated two displays of children's books in the Friends of Watchugn Library book store (Second Story Books - it's upstairs, as you may have guessed!) to make room for a display of DVDs (also library discards), which we set out.  We didn't have to price these individually, since they will be on special at $1.00 each, so a sign will suffice.

We priced and shelved a few miscellaneous books in the store.

There are always a few books that are not saleable.  They may be too worn out, or they may be too out of date - especially if they are about computers or medicine.  Today, we tossed only 6 books into the recycling.

It was a productive event!