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 The school library culls its collection periodically to remove outdated books and make space for new material.

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 The school library culls its collection periodically to remove outdated books and make space for new material.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According to now-retired school principal Charlie Schellinck, the school library is being culled to remove outdated and unused books, and make room for newer, more relevant material.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Elwood adds library book culling is done throughout the district, and a process called MUSTY (Misleading, Ugly, Superseded, Trivial, Your collection has no use for the book) is used to choose which books to remove.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“Always we offer them to charities but there are times where they’re either so out of date that it wouldn’t be appropriate to send them on to other learners and we wouldn’t be disrespectful by sending them off to developing nations that way,” she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

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cumberland Brewery is looking to expand its patio space temporarily for the summer. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland Brewery looks for temporary patio expansion

Move would allow business to spread customers outside in summer months

School District 71’s final budget for this school year showed more revenue from distance learning students but less from traditional classroom registration. Record file photo
Comox Valley Schools’ budget grant almost $5.5 million higher than planned

Increase came from a boost in distributed learning rather traditional registration

A&W on Ryan Road confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 at their restaurant and temporarily shut its doors. Google Maps photo
Courtenay restaurant temporarily closed due to COVID-19 exposure

It’s the latest business in the Valley to be affected by the virus

The CSRHD board moved closer to passing a budget with a $4.4 million cut to the tax requisition. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Strathcona hospital district moves on budget with tax cut

At $12.6 million, budget requisition represents drop of $4.4 million for current year

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton, standing at right, sits on steering committees of two organizations that are tackling the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. File photo
Courtenay councillor leads campaign to reduce building-sector GHG emissions

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton wants local governments to carry a little more… Continue reading

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read