Hundreds of books were dumped into recycling bins and put to the curb at Pointe-Claire library and Valois library this month. The books were discovered by Eric J (who wishes to remain anonymous) who heroically took immediate action to save the books.
Eric posted the photos on social media and began searching for places to donate them. With the help of fellow residents, he managed to find homes for the books.
“Today the city has filled recycling bins at both the Valois and central libraries with perfectly good books that could be donated or given to less privileged schools or community organizations that could really benefit from these,” Eric wrote in his call to action.
Many were enraged to discover that the library disposed of the books when they saw a post by a concerned citizen with evidence that they had been dumped like garbage.
“Throwing away books is just as bad as burning them.” Pointe-Claire citizen Alex Mocella said to The Suburban. “This is similar to what is happening in China and and the Soviet Union and previously in Nazi Germany. This is throwing away knowledge, I am disgusted.”
Pointe-Claire’s Andrew Swidzinski, who was involved in Friends of Pointe-Claire Library, a group dedicated to volunteer work surrounding the library, told The Suburban that “in the past, the books were always donated or sold in a local book sale. Perhaps the book sale did not take place because of COVID, however more of an effort could have been made, the books could have been placed in storage temporarily in other city buildings.”
When The Suburban called the Library, it referred us to City Councillor Tara Stainforth who explained, “our conservation and deselection criteria are for material order (cleanliness, degree of wear, damage, etc.), intellectual order (disuse, outdated cultural, scientific or heritage value, etc.), as well as basic order such as the decrease or even the sustained absence of interest in reading or consultation, excess copies, orphan volumes, or series that have become incomplete, etc.”
The photos posted by Eric clearly show numerous books in perfectly good condition and eventually the lot of books were accepted as donations by various institutions.
City Councillor Cynthia Homan wrote that the subject will be brought to the next council meeting.
“I am shocked! How hard would it be for City Hall to place a phone call or two to find homes for these wonderful books,” Donovan King, a former English teacher from Pointe-Claire, said. “There are so many community groups that could benefit from these books.”