September 13, 2013

The Fairfax County Public Library has embarked on an effort to remake itself for the digital age by taking a very bizarre approach: Just throw the books in the trash. According to the Sept. 10 Metro article “In Fairfax libraries’ bid for renewal, books are trashed,” more than 250,000 books have been put in the dumpster so far. This is wrong in many ways.  

Several times a year, each library holds a used-book sale where discards are sold. The sales run Friday through Sunday, and if you’ve ever attended one you know that many people are buying bagfuls, not just one or two books. Used books go for anywhere from 50 cents up to $4 or $5. Do the math.  

There are many of us of an age who don’t do digital where books are concerned. We cherish books. We buy them, trade them, collect them and even hoard them; this trashing of perfectly good books is crazy. It seems that the leaders of the Fairfax County libraries have lost touch with part of their constituency.

Jim Fearson, Oak Hill