In our most recent Collective Knowledge Survey we asked library staff members to share how they deal with discarded items, and if libraries re-sell to a vendor, what has been their experience.
All of the respondents indicated that discarded items of high enough quality are either donated to the local Friends of the Library group for resale, or are sold by the library in regularly scheduled book sales. If the quality of items make them unfit for re-sale, or if they don't sell in a certain period of time, then several libraries said they are placed in the recycling bin.
One library said it uses good quality adult books as prizes for its adult Summer Library Program. Another also puts children and teen books in a "Free" box from which young library users can choose.
Only two respondents said they have used a vendor to resell. One said the vendor made it sound quick and easy, but it would probably work better for a larger library. They still had to deal with the items the vendor didn't want.
Another said they just don't have the staff time to organize and ship the items that the vendor was willing to accept, and they still had to deal with the remainder of the discarded items.
The next Collective Knowledge Survey about library use of social media is now accepting responses.