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ThriftBooks and Libraries

How We Help Local Libraries

By The Library Team • September 08, 2020

Most people know ThriftBooks for our inventory of over 13 million titles, everyday low prices, as well as the best assortment of rare and collectable titles. That iconic teal and white wrapped ThriftBooks package has our #1 fans giddy with excitement to share their ThriftBooks Haul on social media like Instagram and Youtube. Guess who else gets giddy and excited about ThriftBooks...and not always for the same reasons? Libraries! Do you know what your local library does with overstock or withdrawn materials? Is your local library maximizing the return on materials that might otherwise be recycled? They could be partnering with ThriftBooks!

Libraries, Friends of the Library, Library Foundations, and Universities partner with Thriftbooks for many reasons. Libraries house millions of books that often rotate to allow new titles to come in and meet the demand from the Library patrons. Each Library has different space restrictions that often dictate the frequency in which they must weed out the old to make room for the new. Have you ever wondered what happens after the library no longer needs 30 copies of the latest best seller? Or when they are gifted beautiful copies of books that can replace a slightly worn copy on their shelves? Thousands of Libraries partner with ThriftBooks to repurpose books they no longer need by putting these books into the hands of new readers, while simultaneously raising funds for their library.

So, how does ThriftBooks step in to help?

Thriftbooks has a team of folks dedicated to finding the right solution for all sizes of libraries. One thing our experienced Account Managers do is support and advise libraries and Friends groups on how to best engage their communities through local book sales. Collectively we strategize and organize a unique detailed plan on the goals and desired outcomes for each specific group. Whether the goal is community engagement and foot traffic at the sale or maximizing fundraising, the communication and collaboration between ThriftBooks and their partners helps ensure the best chance for a successful event.

While these local book sales work well, the main way ThriftBooks partners with thousands of libraries is through purchases!

We help them raise money and help them responsibly find homes for as many books as possible by buying their overstocked or weeded titles. With most we do this through a profit-sharing relationship, meaning every sale of an item from a library has a portion of that sale go to that library or organization. We take their unneeded items and list them on, putting them right in front of the readers looking for them. Through these local, national, and international charitable partnerships, ThriftBooks donates to as many communities as possible and keeps otherwise to-be-discarded books in circulation.

Fundraising and giving books a second life are vitally important to libraries, Friends groups, and ThriftBooks. This fundraising is important to help fund many aspects of the library. Children's programs, new technology, STEM programs, or even library additions are all examples of where funds may be needed as libraries need to stretch their budgets further.

So, the next time you are on and searching for your next great book to read, consider choosing that copy labeled "Ex-Library" and know that every stamp or plastic cover on a book you receive means that you are helping support and fund a local library.

Check out some of our best sellers below and you'll probably find an ex-library copy or two that you can give a new home!

For more information or to connect your library with our team please visit

April 2022 Update from The Library Team:

At ThriftBooks we often say that we work for libraries, and that remains true to this day, which is why we are so excited to say that since the original publishing of this article in 2020, libraries and related events are starting to open back up to the public post-pandemic! Recently, we had the pleasure of attending the Public Library Association conference in Portland, Oregon. Seeing volunteers, librarians, and other literary supporters come out for the first time in what feels like forever to show their love for literacy has only reaffirmed the importance of these partnerships not only to us, but to the entire book-loving community. We shared with attendees the different ways ThriftBooks can help libraries handle the influx of donations received over the past two years while also generate funding, as well as shared information on our Library Partnership program. We left the conference more grateful than ever that we can work for and with those who believe books bring people together.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our logo at your next local book conference, we would love to chat with you!

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