Not all books recycled by Comox Valley School District

A concerned passerby reported a pile of discarded library books in a dumpster at G. P. Vanier Secondary School last week.

BOOKS SIT IN a G.P. Vanier Secondary School dumpster. The school library culls its collection periodically to remove outdated books and make space for new material.

A concerned passerby, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the Record after noticing a pile of discarded library books in a dumpster at G. P. Vanier Secondary School last week.

According to now-retired school principal Charlie Schellinck, the school library is being culled to remove outdated and unused books, and make room for newer, more relevant material.

Though the library follows a protocol to ensure any culled books that can be are passed on to charitable organizations or other groups or individuals, Comox Valley School District superintendent Sherry Elwood says some of the culled books do end up in the landfill.

“With our commercial disposal contract, that’s what we do unfortunately — they head towards the dumpsters,” says Elwood. “There’s no other way, in a big enterprise like the school district, to provide any other way to do that.”

Elwood adds library book culling is done throughout the district, and a process called MUSTY (Misleading, Ugly, Superseded, Trivial, Your collection has no use for the book) is used to choose which books to remove.

Using this process books are removed which contain obsolete information and racial, cultural or sexual stereotyping. Also, books which have newer versions like old encyclopedias, worn-out books, books with poor writing or inaccurate information and books that are generally irrelevant to the school’s curriculum are removed from the library shelves.

Before any books go in a dumpster, libraries attempt to find other homes for them, according to Elwood.

“Always we offer them to charities but there are times where they’re either so out of date that it wouldn’t be appropriate to send them on to other learners and we wouldn’t be disrespectful by sending them off to developing nations that way,” she says.

Vanier librarian Mary Whyte notes many books have been removed from Vanier’s library this year.

“This renews the collection to make it more vibrant, appropriate for the school population, up-to-date, and appealing,” she says in an e-mail.

“We tried several ways to find some of the books a new home, but one must realize that some of these books are not appropriate for any collection due to obsolete information or being worn out or dirty.”

She adds the library tried recycling some but the program became overwhelmed. Also, many of the books went to local organizations.

For example, Friends of the Library took some and the Courtenay Rotary Club took a bunch for its Books for the Cure fundraiser; Dave White, president of the Courtenay Rotary Club, picked up a whopping 35 boxes of books Thursday, according to Whyte.

She adds the additional space in the library is a good thing.

“We can showcase more current resources which appeal more to our student population, which then increases the circulation of the books still with us,” she says.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Three generations of trauma: Phyllis Webstad shares experience in residential school

The creator of Orange Shirt Day is in the Comox Valley, speaking about the trauma of residential schools

Comox Valley Airport features work from nationally renown artist

A significant new painting “Lions of the Sea,” featuring life-sized stellar and… Continue reading

Comox Valley Hospice Society Ultimate Fifty/50 Raffle winner announced

James Maxwell bought his ticket at Canadian Tire

Dinner, dance in honour of Kenny Shaw

Comox Legion honours one of the Valley’s prominent volunteers

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Island Health encourages sexual assault survivors to #TrustYourself

New social media campaign urges survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

Most Read