Thursday, December 15, 2011
Book bloggers: What to do with those old ARCs?
Following up on my post about how librarians can get ARCs, I'm turning my attention to book bloggers and the question of what to do with an ARC once you're done reviewing it.
Donate to your local library
Please (please please please!) consider donating ARCs to your local library. Most book bloggers know libraries can't add ARCs to our collections or sell them at our Friends of the Library bookstores for legal and ethical reasons. Trust us, we won't do that. But did you know we can still use ARCs in other ways?
I use them as prizes in my library's teen Summer Reading Program, which encourages teens to read for fun and maintain their level of literacy while they're away from the school setting.
Each participant is invited to earn a free paperback book in exchange for writing five brief book reviews. In the past, I've had to budget for the expense of prize books, which, of course, takes away from other things I could be providing for the teens. And with library funding the way it is these days-- well, believe me, every penny counts. Getting ARCs to use as prize books for free is a truly wonderful thing.
And Summer Reading is just the tip of the iceberg. Some librarians use ARCs as door prizes at teen events, or as giveaways for contests throughout the year. Others share ARCs with their book club or distribute them to their Teen Advisory groups who often have input on purchasing books for the library's collection. Your local librarian will find a way to get your old ARCs into the hands of young readers and introduce them to some really fantastic recent titles.
Other donation possibilities
Although I am biased toward the library (natch!), there are other venues for ethically passing along your ARCs, including classrooms, homeless shelters, hospitals, juvenile detention facilities, or organizations that serve youth, such as Boys and Girls Clubs.
You can do something good with those old ARCs. They don't have to go in the recycle bin. Even if they're really old, somebody can use them.
Did I miss any donation possibilities? Please share in the comments. Book bloggers, how have you passed along your old ARCs?
Edited to add: Oh no! What I said up there about libraries not selling ARCs in their Friends of the Library bookstores? Apparently not always the case! Thank you to the commenters on this post who let me know that it does, unfortunately, happen. I still stand by my plea for donating ARCs to libraries, but I will add that it's not advisable to drop off the ARCs without talking to anyone. Please make personal contact with your local librarian and verify how they might be able to use donated ARCs before passing them along.
Big thanks to Michelle from Never Gonna Grow Up Reviews for the ADORABLE photo above demonstrating the book blogger/ARC quandry. Be sure to check out her blog, because it's just as awesome as she is. And she does, in fact, donate ARCs to my library!