Harford County Public Library is trying an experiment with its used and discarded library books: giving them to a Baltimore organization to re-sell.
Mary Hastler said instead of trying to sell all of its unneeded books to the public, as it has traditionally done, the library system is piloting a program with Baltimore Reads, a non-profit focused on adult literacy.
The initiative involves books at the Bel Air and Abingdon branches.
The library system will receive 20 percent of the resale value of the books, Hastler said. Baltimore Reads also provides pick-up and boxes, she said.
Hastler assured that the project is only an experiment and does not mean the county has any plans to eliminate its book sales.
The Bel Air branch will still have book sale shelves during the pilot, and Bel Air and Abingdon will have discarded library books for sale as well as donations.
The regular sales held by the Friends of the Library several times a year are also not going anywhere.
Hastler said the library will see if reselling the books makes financial sense.
She said several branches, such as Havre de Grace, also partner with nationwide resellers like Better World Books.
"We put that money into buying books back for our collection," Hastler said.
She said there is no guarantee the program will prove successful.
"I think we are going to have to wait and see what the outcome is," she said, explaining the library system will not necessarily keep doing it. "If the revenue goes down from that, then no."
"We are always looking to generate new revenue," Hastler said.