Librarymooch ?

January 3, 2010

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Here’s an idea I’d like feedback on: a separate web site just for libraries who want to mooch from each other:

Yes, I know that Inter-Library-Loan exists, but it’s different from mooching, as it’s not a good way for libraries to permanently acquire books that they’d otherwise want to buy, nor is it a good way to get rid of books they no longer have storage for.

A few libraries already use BookMooch, and supporting their survival and growth is one of my personal goals with BookMooch. However, the needs of libraries are a bit different from the general public, such as:

1) they have a LOT more books, and would rather send a minimum of a box of books, and not one at a time
2) they would prefer to send their books to other libraries
3) they would like BookMooch to be integrated with their existing cataloging software

The goal would be to build a vibrant library community mooching from each other, and since their points would be acquired just as on BookMooch, offer libraries the possibilities of expanding their network (both giving and mooching) by joining the larger BookMooch community.

Thoughts? Any libraries interested in such a thing? (if so, email me).

One possibility is making simply be a sub-site of BookMooch, where a checkbox toggles which site you’re on, so that it’d be easy for libraries to “upgrade” to the greater bookmooch site, or stay within the smaller library-only community. In this same direction, it could be possible for other sub-groups to make their own “mini mooch”, such as (say) a university that wants to initially just have mooching as a person-to-person activity on their campus.

Not to worry, this isn’t what I’m working on at the moment, it’s just an idea that came up in a conversation today, and I wanted to get feedback on it.


61 Responses to “Librarymooch ?”

  1. Sarah said

    I am not a library but I have to say I like the idea! It sounds fabulous. Library’s are always trying to sell off books and what great way to get rid off and acquire new ones. I like the idea of them staying within the larger book mooch community. That way they have more choice.


    • Missy said

      I like the idea. I am not affiliated with any library, but I think it would be very good to have a “bulk” style mooching systems for libraries to discard of their used books, as well as giving them the ability to mooch some harder-to-find books. But I think it would be best to integrate the sites closely, so that regular moochers could still mooch from the libraries and vice-versa. That way you would not have an imbalance of points. Not all moochers will be disinterested in mooching en bulk, I think.

  2. iamfern said

    Having worked in a library, I can’t say I think this would work too well. UK libraries are divided by county and there are already many systems in place to share books between libraries within a country (inter-county stuff is more difficult but can be done if people want something from outside the county). There are many stock items and collections of stock that rotate between libraries, so that each library gets the items for a specific period of time, and for people to borrow any item from any library in the county is very simple. It takes at most a few weeks but if you’re in a hurry then it can be there as quickly as the following day. Stock is only discarded if it’s no longer in good enough condition to be lent out (so therefore would be of no use to other libraries) or is taken out very, very rarely. I think that bookmooch is a great system for individuals and it’s certainly worked wonders for me, but I just can’t see it working for libraries. Perhaps other people will disagree, though.

  3. Jennifer said

    Hmm. I run both a charity/library account and a personal account on bookmooch. I can definitely see this idea going places. One of the things that’s an issue for library mooching is when I get a book for the library, it needs to be relatively new; it’s difficult to impossible to add ex-library books from another library. However, we happily send out library discards to moochers who don’t care about library markings. So, I like the idea of a secondary site that stays connected to the main site so everyone can still mooch. Maybe we could start with a list of “library moochers” to see who’s actually out there? I know there’s quite a few libraries not listed as charities.

  4. Nancy Hendrix said


    I like the idea. I’m not with a library now, but I used to work at the Fort Myers Beach Public Library as the research librarian on Fridays so the regular person could have a break. They have a bookstore run by Friends of the Library. It’s always overflowing, and they have big sales. Other libraries around here have smaller bookstores and bigger sales.

    I attended a sale at the Lakes Park Regional Library and bought lots of books that looked absolutely new. They weren’t marked as library books either. I don’t know how many libraries have new, unmarked books like that, but maybe lots do. I seem to remember the director at the Beach Library saying that people leave books from their estates to libraries, and often they are too esoteric to add to the collection. If “esotericity” is in the eye of the book holder, maybe other libraires might mooch these books right up. Rage on. Nancy

  5. VeraMarie said

    Ooh, I like the idea very much. I use my library extensively and know how hard it’s been hit by the recent recession. If this concept can give libraries a new tool to manage and expand their collections, everyone benefits.

  6. Sherecita said

    I think this idea is wonderful. I’m a student in Newcastle University as well as a user and fan of Book Mooch. Although the library is well stocked, there are some books needed that I always thought could be gotten through bookmooch.

    Also, I often thought about wanting to give points to libraries for this same reason. I’ve given some to other charities, and I think for libraries it would be amazing. Small ones could benefit greatly of this idea.

    Go for it!

  7. Jerome Moore said

    I don’t like the idea. If a library only made their books available on the “Library Only” site yet could use their points on the regular Bookmooch they would be stealing books from the regular users as they would never give anything to them in return. Regular users would have more points then could be used as there would be less books then points in the system. This is already occurring when people receive extra points or partial points for such things as shipping overseas or acknowledging receiving a book. At some point in the future the system will collapse. There are people like me who have over a 1000 points with little hope of ever being able to use them all. Large scale use by libraries will make people stop using Bookmooch as there would seldom be any good books available. I for one have stopped offering new books and I’m just letting my offerings dwindle down.

  8. Amy Powell said

    I’m an adult services librarian for Broward Co. FL. All donations & discarded books are conveyed to The Friends of the Library group for legal reasons. Very rarely are donations added to the collection, and there is not a wish list of Out of Print titles that I know of. I wouldn’t work for us –we’re too big and bureaucratic.

  9. I like the idea of a “librarymooch” thing that would be separate-yet-connected with BookMooch, especially something where the points were interchangeable and worked in exactly the same way. I greatly dislike the idea of any other “mini-mooch” communities, however. BookMooch is supposed to be a worldwide community, and the think that makes it special is *precisely that.* Making it so normal people can’t mooch nearly as easily because others find it less convenient or palatable to send stuff to them is annoying. There’s already a real barrier created by post office mailing costs to other countries, and you’ve already done what you can to decrease this an issue, with the two-points-become-three thing (which is brilliant and lovely and fantastic).

    I’d be willing to see a special BookMooch privilege for libraries-only because they fill a very real need — they are not out of profit or “robbing” from ordinary people; quite the reverse. Their entire purpose is to provide free reading to everybody in range. Because of this, I could see it being appropriate for BookMooch to go out of their way to give libraries particularly special treatment. Libraries are wonderful things.

    That said, I think a previous commentor makes a very real point when she says that libraries frequently need books in “excellent” or “like new” condition, and they frequently discard books that are really ratty and horrible-looking. Which implies that that one library’s trash may very well *not* potentially be another library’s treasure. Ordinary people are much more likely to have once-read books they list online in very good condition, and much more likely to find “less than stellar” condition books acceptable for reading.

    I *am* an ordinary reader who treats books carefully, and prefers them in as close to “new” condition as possible. I’m totally okay with libraries nabbing the best-condition books, however, because I’m one person, and each copy of a book a library has serves *many.* So with condition of books, I’m concerned that segregating libraries might actually harm them, rather than making things better.

    As an alternate idea, perhaps you could do something simpler that doesn’t separate things — a few extra options available to libraries only on BookMooch, for instance? I totally think it’s appropriate to give them extra privileges — like a number-of-books-mooched minimum, a way to add many books at once, and most especially a way to integrate BookMooch with existing library software (a library-only privilege that might make things easier on them and that ordinary people wouldn’t need).

    Though, come to think of it, if you were going to integrate BookMooch with existing software for libraries, I bet there are many ordinary people who’d be happy to have something similar to link BookMooch accounts with LibraryThing.

    Anyway, libraries often run with barely any money, and they provide such a necessary, valuable service for the community, so by all means, if you can think of a way to make thing easier for them, great! Just as long as the extra privileges aren’t so extreme that it makes the ordinary people feel discriminated against, or anything.

    BookMooch is all about mutual benefit through sharing. Which is a beautiful thing. So supporting libraries in extra ways is totally fitting with that dream.

  10. Juliane said

    If librarymooch were connected to bookmooch in a way that books could be mooched from both communities with one account and the same points were the currency for both, I could consider librarymooch a good thing. However, I understand the concern that a considerable number of books could be lost to regular bookmooch users.

  11. Hope said

    Not sure that UK public libraries would take these – they tend to sell donated stock and ex-library copies to members of the public, and have other channels for acquisitions.

    Having said that, I wonder if the community centre/community association/special interest group type library would be more interested? I notice on LibraryThing that there are some LGBT centre libraries and MCC libraries that are cataloguing their stock, and also revising their stock. A few of them mention on their home/profile pages that they are interested in giving away some of their excess donated items/multiple copies to other centres that need them.

    I’m wondering on the practicalities – how many mooched books makes up a box? Would libraries or groups be asking for specific titles, and having them on delay until a box worth was accumulated? Or would it be mooch a mystery box of 10 books sort of thing?

    Maybe some of the institutional members on might like to see this thread and see if they like the idea and would want to join BookMooch? I’m thinking particularly about some of the smaller, specialist libraries.

  12. Gail said

    I work in an Interlibrary Loans dept, and I agree it’s a great idea! There are many books that we request over and over from other library systems, simply because they are out-of-print, or too old to reorder for our library.

  13. Melva said

    I am an ex-libraian. I know that many libraries were renting collections that they had to return at some point. This would be a good alternative and free up some cash for other things.

  14. Philip said

    Don’t you already have your hands full with BookMooch? Starting another system would just delay future needed maintenance for BookMooch.

    And like others have said, libraries don’t share well: they only want new and nearly new books but they only want to give up their worst condition books.

    Stay focused. Stay the course. Make BookMooch the best it can be.

    • Kelly said

      Wow, that seems incredibly harsh. I have been using BookMooch for well over a year now and yes we do request that the books are in fairly decent shape (not perfect) but I have sent out many books that are like new. We receive donations from people and they are duplicate books so we do not need them. If the items are in deplorable condition I wouldn’t even think of listing them.

      As another person mentioned one big benefit to libraries would be if we could have a minimum mooch as the time element is a huge factor for us. I was shipping out 10 or more books a day at one point and when you are in a small library with minimal staff that eats up a lot of time that needs to be used elsewhere.

      BookMooch is a wonderful site and I am very grateful to it’s creator and the other members for all they have done for our library.

  15. Becky said

    Friends of Libraries seem like the right target – the types of organizations that have people willing to spend time emailing back and forth inquiring about book conditions and packing up donated books that aren’t suitable for the collection in boxes.

  16. Harley said

    Sounds like what we used to do/call “gifts & exchange”. Gr8 idea! If I were a library, I’d be there!

  17. Janet said

    As a former public librarian, I say this is a noble idea but one that I don’t think will get much use for a library’s permanent collection. It comes down to $$ and staffing: Libraries don’t have enough people as it is, and there is no time to add this to somebody’s list of duties. Postage, as well, could become a burden, especially for some small libraries. Friends groups can and should be using Bookmooch, but libraries should not.

  18. Anne said

    I’ve worked in a library for 27 years, and the reason it won’t work is that (a)libraries need practically brand new unmarked books to put in their collections, (b)one library is not going to have a box of new books that another library is interested in and (c) BookMooch is often not speedy, and library patrons want their requests filled ASAP.
    I know that my local public librarian has given me books to wish for on BookMooch and none of them have ever come up available for her. I lead the library’s book discussion group, and thought I might be able to mooch enough copies (12) of a title for the members to use, but that didn’t work out so well,either.
    Also as other people have noted, it would not be practical time-wise when ILL is so easy and extensive. However, I do think that libraries that are out in BookMooch land should be marked as such, so that people can donate points to them. I also like the idea of Friends groups using BookMooch to help out their libraries.

  19. Michelle said

    I think this is a fantastic idea! Would this include school libraries? I know from volunteering in my children’s school library that there are never enough funds for all the books the librarian needs/wants to purchase for the school and we live in a affluent neighbourhood. I can’t imagine what happens in to libraries in schools where families are not in a position to help support the school financially as much our parent community can.

  20. Norberto Amaral said

    At first this sounds good, althgouh I do have some questions. For example, wouldn’t current, personal bookmooch users lose in the process? And, conversely, wouldn’t libraries have access to less titles that there would be if they had acess to books in personal accounts?
    If at first it sounds like a good idea, soon I start thinking about how building up walls destroy value for both libraries and individuals…

  21. Jim said

    If you want to ‘test the waters’ first, you could just add a “box lot” feature to BookMooch so everybody could use it.

  22. Mary Ellen said

    I agree with the ‘too bureaucratic’ people. I don’t think this would work for most libraries. For example, I’ve worked in a NASA library and they can only give their books to other federal agencies, and the books they want are pretty specific. Libraries that have decent funding have a big bureaucracy and don’t need BookMooch. Small, underfunded libraries can use BookMooch the way it is.

    One suggestion to implement this idea in a simple way is to have a checkbox for people to check in their book inventory saying, “I prefer to give this to a non-profit.” I know that museums specifically have a mandate to only give donated collection items to other public non-profits so that the item stays available to the public.

  23. alarob said

    This idea strikes me as potentially most helpful to small, isolated, cash-strapped libraries. I immediately thought of the Robert B. Jones Memorial Library, a one-room outfit (with a leaky roof) in Lynnville, Tennessee. The immediate problem, though, is how to get the word out to each of these places. The Jones Library doesn’t even have a working internet connection (only an outdated, unsupported set of workstations given by the Gates Foundation) and is staffed entirely by volunteers (if it has managed to stay open at all since I was there in April). Their main assets are the holdings of a school that closed some years ago, including about a dozen complete encyclopedias of varying vintages. They might benefit by swapping some of those for newer books, if the barriers could be overcome.

  24. Carol said

    I’m a librarian at a private k-12 school and I also run a church library. I use bookmooch all the time and have gotten some great deals. I get donations that I don’t want, and I put them on my inventory and get to exchange them for what I do want. It’s great! That said, I don’t think regular-sized or large public libraries with staff and rules would go for it. Only small ones that are desperate for books (like me) will use it. I think perhaps a registration for libraries who do use bookmooch would work. But I also agree with the person who said just make bookmooch the best it can be. Small libraries, and those who want to use it, will.

  25. Dena said

    I work in a library and use my personal Bookmooch account to get out-of-print books I can’t buy from our distributors. I don’t want ex-library books for our collection – I need books in as good condition as possible and I’m usually looking for very specific books. I don’t need boxes of things and I don’t want to have to fill up a box to get something I want. I would prefer to have a library bookmooch account that people could donate points to if they wanted but that I could use on the regular bookmooch site.

  26. Jeanne said

    I really don’t think there needs to be a separate librarymooch. I use my account here mostly for the library and it works fine. I list books that are primarily in very good condition and if they have flaws, I say so. It’s also easy for me to state in my requests that I need the books to be in a certain shape and I ask people to reject the request if the book doesn’t qualify. My biggest problem is in finding books to mooch – I have no problem at all getting rid of mine – they usually go too well and I have to stop listing for awhile because I can’t afford the postage. I’m not sure a separate account would make any of that better.

  27. Moonrite said

    This is a great idea. Just last year I was tutoring a student in a school library and discovered an older copy of Heinlein’s book Time Enough For Love. The book is a classic in Sci-Fi and was in perfect condition. It was about to be discarded because it had not been taken out on loan in the recent school year. I know that public libraries also discard books with multiple copies or have become less popular. I asked to purchase the Heinlein book and was unable to do so because there was no mechanism set up for doing so. Books like this one could be mooched by readers who might really appreciate having an original printing on their book shelf and the school library might be able to use the points to acquire books that students are more interested in and teachers are questing.

  28. Lisa said

    Adding library wishlists to BM would be a nice way for potential donors to know specifically which books are needed and desired by a particular library, rather than just guessing. IMHO, if I could donate a new duplicate book I received as a gift to a library that I KNEW could use it, I’d love to do that. The same for donating a specific book for a summer kids reading program–if the library got enough copies donated maybe participants could take one home with them. After reading some of the previous comments, I’m not sure whether the concept would be effective for ridding libraries of stock they no longer wish to have on their shelves, but experience has shown me there is home out there for just about any book if the giver and receiver can just connect. Thanks again for all you do to make the world more “reader friendly” John!

  29. Sue B said

    Here’s a thought, how about a catagory for bulk give-a-way for not suitable for libary use, which could include estates, thrift stores, etc

  30. Elizabeth Cooley said

    At first glance, this seems like a great, fairly simple idea. The replies show that to be a fallacy.

    It seems to me that several ideas have come from the discussion:

    1. A separate library mooch will not work for a variety of beaurocratic or systematic resons including one that hasn’t been mentioned: time available to overworked staff.

    2. Some libraries do presently use book mooch for specific purposes when filling individual requests.

    3. BM members would give points to libraries who would use them if we knew who they were.

    4. Bookmooch isn’t convenient as a search engine for library patrons who are seeking interlibrary loan items because it isn’t integrated into the standard software programs used out there.

    5. Library giving to BookMooch would be time consuming and complicated, using a great deal of staff time. Furthermore, many libraries use their unwanted books as a source of much needed income by sponsoring book sales. They also do not have the room to store and catalog discarded books. Some even are constrained in the disposal of books,
    I would propose two ideas that might be useful to libraries.

    1. A campaign to inform libraries and their patrons about bookmooch. This could be accomplished by email (through a database built at BM from input by members), or by individual members taking the iniative to visit local libraries and educate them about the system and its possible benefits to their patrons and collections.

    Long range, you could even investigate the probabliity of becoming integrated with library systems although that probably isn’t practiclle except as a suggestion for another place to search.

    You might make contact with the ALA and state library associations and do presentations at their conferences and offer write ups for their various publications, The same might be done with other state and federal organizations which dispense information to libraries,

    2. Establish a fund of mooching points that can be drawn upon by any library for the mooching of books without having to establish an inventory base. You would need to vet these applications, but libraries would need the easiest way to access Bookmooch. We members could then contribute to the combined fund.

    In short, use what we have that can offer services without creating a division of services.

    Thank you for taking the time to pursue the idea.

  31. Vanessa said

    I’m a solo librarian at a Canadian university career resource centre (we are unaffiliated with the library network), and although I love the idea, we don’t have the budget to ship off to moochers. That would be my only concern. Otherwise, I’d be on it. Labour would not be an issue for a collection of our size (almost 3000 items).

    Nice idea, though!

  32. Donna said

    I used to work for a large public library. It was not their policy to accept “gift” books to place in their inventory, except on rare occasions. They would however, accept “gift” books and then place them in their annual book sale, which was a huge hit with staff and the public and made money for their book buying budget.

    I can imagine that your idea would help smaller library systems that don’t have a lot of money and are willing to add used/donated books to their circulating stock.

    Maybe some of the BookMooch charities would benefit from this as well, such as Reader to Reader, who are doing a great job trying to stock libraries in hard hit economic areas.

  33. Alison Rodriguez said

    I have donated points to several libraries and also offered to send books moochfree to one library. They were books that had been in my inventory and not on anyone’s wishlist and the library was happy to have them. I think that the idea of a fund or “pot” of points we could donate to and libraries could then use to mooch what they need would be great. Also perhaps for libraries , 1 point could mooch 2 books . Thankyou for all your hard work on Bookmooch.

  34. inês said

    sounds like a wonderful idea to me!, and something that will be very well received by everyone.
    keep up with the good work here at the site =)

  35. Matt said

    I currently run a library charity account for our school library, and I don’t think it could work. For one thing, the only thing mooched from our library has been an envelope of bookmarks. Secondly, as bokmooch is such a great money-saving resource, we currently mooch about the same amount of books as we buy each year. We are trying to expand, and we are not giving away any books, unless they are thoroughly outdated (Will we ever land on the moon? for example). I think the library charity system works fine, and we don’t need to cahnge what works.

  36. Sebastian Ramirez said

    Sounds like a good idea. Universities are always throwing away books that they don’t have room for anymore. This can give those work-studies something netter to do than F.Bk. all day.

  37. Jolynn said

    I like the bulk give-away idea!
    The library or other organization could post a list of what’s in their box of books.
    In my case, if the box had 6 volumes in it and I was interested in even 3 or 4 of them, I’d go ahead and acquire the whole box. The books I didn’t want, I would post on my BookMooch account and donate the points I got for them to the organization’s account.
    I don’t think there should be more than 6 volumes in a box, unless they were very small or paperbacks–you don’t want the cost of shipping to be prohibitive.

  38. Anna said

    I heartily agree that BM should not be separated. Some practical reasons were stated. I think BM is GREAT the way it is!!!

    I think making a library option on the BM site might be best…in other words, in addition to a “individual member” browse tab, there could be a “library member” browse tab for those that want to search/donate to them without difficulty. All books could still be in the same moochable category. Book ownership and names on book listings could merely indicate two categories, individual or library.

    From the comments above, one thing that seems like it might be helpful to make BM user friendly for the libraries is a condition list to check mark when posting/adding inventory like: new, nearly new, good, fair, ex-library [for those that have a nessesity to avoid these], and other=_______ so they can save time and gage right away if they are able to use a book. I would love to mooch ex-library books and help them out!

    I think book mooch is by far the best and easiest swap site out there! Keep up the good work!

  39. Marian said

    As a working library cataloger, I can tell you that you definitely do NOT have the resources available to integrate bookmooch with library software. Library software is a vendor-driven market, very pricey and very non-cooperative. There are probably about half a dozen major systems out there, and none of them are the same and none of them are going to be willing to let you have what you need to integrate with them unless they stand to make big bucks from the deal.

  40. Jon Melusky said


    I do think there is a need for libraries to have their own area of books they are offering to trade other libraries to.

    However, instead of charity status, it would be library status so we could see that we are giving to a library somewhere far away. I like knowing where my books are going to specifically.

    Also I wanted to comment about the condition of library books. The libraries in Seattle have a big book sale in the summer and most books are in newer condition. The reason is the library buys 200 copies of the Clinton Biography and end up loaning those out the first two years, but they are still in newer condition in most libaries. And later the demand for those books is not great, so they need to make room for new books coming in so they have to sell them at the book sale. However, other libraries might not have ordered that book yet or they still have a high demand for readers of that book, and may want to mooch a copy or two from Seattle. They could and perhaps if the library bar code system is the same, it might not have to be bar coded.

    Anyway, it is a complex system for sure and might be beneficial in the long run.


  41. Piranga said

    I let our local library about BM and the possibility of LM – they were unaware of either and were interested by both

  42. Marinda Sherman said

    When a library mooches a book from me, I go on their page, look at their wish list and if I have some of those titles, I send them on with the requested mooch. I always get a thank you for the extras I send. That works for me.

  43. Alicia said

    I love the idea. Recently a book I’ve had on my wishlist for several months was listed by a library who proceeded to say DON’T MOOCH THIS claiming they have no money to send books to people. What the heck are they doing listing it on BookMooch then? If they just want an inventory program then they need to take their business elsewhere. I think a library-only BookMooch would serve them better as they could trade by the boxful as you suggest.

  44. Mandy said

    I’m at a library and I think it sounds like a great idea in theory. Not sure how realistically it would work…but that would be up to you. 🙂

    We are a small library, so I would not care about the barcoding.

  45. Holly said

    Great Idea, Jon. During the power outage I went to Librarymooch (I think that’s what it’s called)website and signed up, just in case. I really think this might be the way to go!

  46. melissajaynew said

    The only ones that would use it are small libraries who would want the books. As it is, BM is unreliable and there is no guarantee that one will get the book they want.

  47. Janet Croft said

    This WOULD work for certain types of libraries — I used to work for a small private college, and there was a network of small private colleges across the country that did just this sort of thing. It was called a Duplicate Exchange Program. You had to be legally permitted to exchange your books with other libraries (often state supported libraries can’t do anything but throw away books bought with tax money)in order to participate. The receiving library had to reimburse the sending library for postage. And most libraries were listing things like print periodical runs replaced by microfilm or electronics, or one-year-old reference books once they got the new ones — not something most individuals would want. But for a small library like ours, trying to build a collection, it was just wonderful.

  48. Cheryl said

    I concur with many others who think this is a thoughtful idea, but impractical for most libraries. I work in Collection Development. Public libraries tend to all need hot titles at the same time. And then the rush is over. Other libraries generally aren’t going to need them at that time, as they, too, are on to the next HOT title.

    In my experience, popular titles are next to impossible to get on BM. And without an actual designated queue, it would take too much time to monitor and “claim” items when they do come available. (And as was pointed out earlier, we need to get our customers the items they want/need as soon as possible.)

    I personally find BM useful for very niche interests. Depending on the title, the proposed systme may be useful occasionally for fulfilling out of print or hard to get items. However, searching takes precious staff time.

    Another issue is the custom processing libraries do to each item – stamp with the library name, stickers, call numbers, and customer barcodes. It’s surprising how complex and customized that is. 🙂 So, receiving materials with other libraries’ processing wouldn’t work well. They don’t do that to be a pain. Instead, librarians are VERY customer-service oriented. The stamps, call numbers, etc. vary because they want to make materials intuitive for their community to find.

    Bureaucracy also, as others elaborated, limits how some could participate in such a system.

    Cool idea – Unfortunately, I don’t think it’d work on a large-scale for your average public library. That said, I still’ll give this some thought – there may be a creative way to use this in some manner… Cheers, Cheryl

  49. Anna said

    Please don’t let the big beaurocratic libraries in abilities to participate in something like this be prohibitive. I know a local librarian that uses BM for her church and prison libraries. It seems like the small ones without much funding can benefit the most. (Libraries could also have the option of requesting voluteers on their page to do BM work for them.)
    I still think the BM site would work best if the libraries’ and individual member’s moochable books were in the same pool.

  50. John Clark said

    Great idea. Paperbackswap already adopted a concept called Box-O-Books which functions like this. I’m a one person library staff in rural Maine and have used Bookmooch to add/give away close to 4000 books. It’s a terrific way to get books that ARE older, but not easily obtained on ILL as well as to get books, particularly for juveniles and young adults from places like Australia.

  51. Jacquie said

    Sorry, this wouldn’t get my vote. It seems that it would remove more books from BM. I don’t have access to a library or bookshop with books in my mother tongue, so I rely on BM for my book fix, or buy books mail-order. Let’s collectively make BM work, not dilute it!

  52. BBStart said

    I’m a volunteer librarian with our local community library and I currently run a charity bookmooch account for the library. We rely very heavily on Bookmooch to grow our stock and only discard books when they are in very poor condition. Although we do sometimes receive donations of books which are unsuitable for our library, we don’t list them for mooching as we just don’t have the cash to post them out. Instead, we either sell them at twice-yearly booksales or gift them to other libraries/charities locally. I don’t think we are untypical of the many smaller libraries which currently use Bookmooch.

  53. Booketta said

    It sounds a great idea but as I have no insider experience of libraries, I cannot say it would work in practise. However, some librarians my be open to new ideas and if you have someone willing to give it a go and test it – that would be really useful. Perhaps an independant library would be willing to try it out.

  54. Diane Lapierre said

    I already told my local library about it, I think it is a great idea. The cons though would be that there would be less books to offer on here but I feel the pros will out way the cons.

  55. Ezekiel Lamb said

    I do not like the idea! I like buying cheap books at my local library.

  56. Nicole said

    I think it is a good thought, but only really practical if BM users have the same access to libraries’ books that they have to other members’ books. Or perhaps if libraries had their own independent site. IMO the BM inventory is somewhat depleted as is, what with 11% more credits than the number of books listed in the system; and that 11% doesn’t include the disparity between international mooches.

  57. Andrea said

    My daughter’s elementary school library is very interested.

  58. Kelly said

    I was just thinking, that one thing that might be really beneficial for libraries, is to be able to search for books based only on publishing dates. There are a lot of books I could be missing because I don’t have the time to wishlist everything, but if I could just search a broad category like that it would help tremendously.

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