History Professors Weed Milne Garden!

What’s going on with all the books? WEEDING!

SUNY Geneseo History professors spent some time recently “weeding” the history books on Milne’s top floor. Weeding is the kinder, gentler word librarians use for discarding books!

The reality is that every library has to discard books from time to time, to make room for new books and to rid the collection of old, outdated, and possibly misleading books. In the science and medical section, for instance, a book from 1950 could be dangerous, with information that has long since been proven wrong!

Weeding the history section, however, can be tricky because a book whose information is out of date still has use for historiography purposes, in other words, to study the changing interpretation of historical events over time. So, for instance, a book published in 1962 that mentions Malcolm X might not be accurate in light of recent research about Malcolm X, but that 1962 book may be extremely useful as a primary source when studying changing attitudes about race in this country.

The history professors, then, had to determine the worth of each book as an information source, as a classic historical text, and as a primary source, as well as considering the condition of the book, how easy the book would be to obtain on interlibrary loan, and if students at Geneseo are studying the topic or not. If a book doesn’t meet the criteria, out it goes! Since January, 522 books have been weeded from the Milne history collection, and 129 new history books have been ordered so far to replace them.BWB

But don’t worry, the books we “weed” aren’t tossed in a garbage bin! We send them to a company called Better World Books, which re-sells them for us and sends us a portion of the profit, which we use to buy new books.  A portion of Better World Books’ profit also funds high-impact literacy projects in the United States and around the world.

Milne’s Growing! New Books, CDs, DVDs: Acquired & Donated

Donate Your Books, CD’s DVD’s to Milne!

Milne Library is growing!

We’re pleased that – with your help and support – we added over 2,515 new titles last year:

  • 303 DVDs
  • 154 CDs


New materials are generally selected from two sources:

  • Items we purchase fromrecommendations received by faculty, students, and staff. To make a recommendation, simply place an IDS request and select “Recommend Purchase.”
  • Items donated. We appreciate donations of materials by faculty, staff, students, and community members—you can drop them into our book donation dropbox by the entrance. Last year, we received 4,505 titles via donations, of which 586 titles (books and DVDs) stayed here in Milne. We sent the remaining items to Better World Books and any proceeds raised go to buying more books and other items for Milne.

We also supplement our 500,000 books upstairs with over 3,000,000 free ebooks available from Hathi Trust, Google Books, and Internet Archive.

Book donation box, Milne Lobby entrance

An area of growing concern for us has been the increasing cost of textbooks (see our recent story on SUNY Open Textbooks). This year, Milne purchased several textbooks using money earned from Better World Books. By placing these critical texts on reserve, we hope to lessen the financial burden on students and their parents during the college years and after graduation.

Please consider donating books, CDs, DVDs, and other items in good condition to Milne. You can help build a strong collection that has a positive impact on the learning and research experiences of Geneseo students. These donations also benefit many others, including faculty and staff, the Geneseo and Livingston County communities, and communities across the globe via interlibrary loan.

If you’re interested in donating to Milne, please see the details at http://go.geneseo.edu/donate2Milne. And if you’re interested in what new resources we’ve added to Milne, please see http://go.geneseo.edu/newbooks.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know. We give you sincere thanks for your support—we are able to do so much more because of the generosity of our supporters!

Cyril  Oberlander
Library Director
Tel: 585-245-5528
Email: [email protected]

Book Swap and Donations at Milne Library

Milne Library’s Book Swap

Fiction paperback books to share
Fiction paperback books to share

The Milne Library’s Book Swap area has been so successful that we are asking for your help.  Have you noticed the bookcase in the front entry of Milne Library?  Maybe it had some books on it…but quite often it is empty!  Take a look around at home and see if you have some fiction that you have already read and are willing to pass it along for someone else to enjoy.  It is very simple, the only guideline is that it must be fiction.  No check-out; no fines…self service.  Donate and/or borrow a book, read a bit and bring it back for someone else to read.  You can leave donations on the bookcase or drop them off in the Better World Books™ box inside the doors.


Better World Books™

Milne Library accepts donations from the public to build our collection.   Each gift is processed through GIST Gift Manager Milne’s own innovative open-source tool designed to manage and streamline library work-flow for processing gifts and evaluating materials.  This data managing system determines if it should be added to Milne Library, put in the Book Swap or donated to Better World Books™.  Accepting donations allows us greater flexibility, given our limited budget and it provides a positive impact on our overall ability to provide relevant materials to our patrons