Better World Books    

Creating a Better World, One Book at a Time

Better World Books logoThere are only so many books that a library can physically hold. After all, new books are always being ordered, extra copies are purchased of bestsellers so patrons do not have to wait as long to get them and reference materials are continually being updated to remain useful. So what happens to the older books that are taking up space on the shelves but not necessarily being used by patrons anymore?

A young boy sitting on steps and an older girl standing beside himThe Greater Sudbury Public Library has partnered up with Better World Books with a 'green' initiative that gives these books new life and helps non-profit literacy initiatives at the same time.

What is Better World Books?

Better World Books describes their company as the online bookstore with a soul. They are an American company that works with libraries across North America that allows libraries to manage discarded and donated books that no longer have use on the shelves. The part about this company having a soul means they also generate funding for leading literacy initiatives around the world. The partners involved in these literacy initiatives use these funds to build schools, start libraries and provide scholarships worldwide.

Our Partnership

In our case, the Greater Sudbury Public Libraries have started working with Better World Books to send them materials that we are no longer using and that does not typically sell at our local book sales.

We send them the books, and they provide us with a percentage of the commission when they re-sell the books through online marketplaces. Whenever a book is sold, we get a portion of the proceeds and the remainder is sent to a charity, which, in our case, is Invisible Children.

What is Invisible Children?

Invisible Children logoInvisible Children is a non-profit organization that improves the quality of life for war-affected children by providing access to quality education, enhanced learning environments and innovative economic opportunities for the community. Through education and other opportunities, they partner with affected communities and strive to improve the quality of life for individuals living in conflict and post-conflict regions.

Thousands of libraries across North America work with Better World Books to provide new homes for their older books. The company has raised over eight million dollars for worldwide literacy initiatives since the programs inception in August of 2004. What started out as an idea of three students looking to sell their college textbooks online turned into a way to work with libraries across North America to manage out-dated collections and prevent books from being discarded and sent to landfills.

How You Can Help

The next stage for our local libraries is to welcome the public to donate used books to the library that we can either use in our local collections, book sales or to be sent to Better World Books to be part of this program. There are drop-box locations available to the public for used textbooks, reference books, and any other books that are in general good condition. Stay tuned for more information about this environmentally friendly program that not only makes room in our libraries for new material while recycling the old, but also helps introduce literacy to people around the world.