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Treasures From the Attic

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Treasures from the Attic

Fall cleaning, spring cleaning, and closing houses for the winter often bring a spate of used books to the library.  We are grateful that people think of the library when disposing of books and are glad to accept materials we can use.

At the same time, we experience challenges accommodating everything.  For one thing, space is quite limited.  For another, unless books meet certain conditions, we may not be able to use them in the collection.  To help you sort your materials most efficiently, please consider these criteria.

Newest and Oldest

Of the greatest value to our collection are recent (published in the last 2-3 years) fiction and nonfiction in like-new or good condition. Readers gravitate toward the newest materials, including bestsellers, thrillers, mysteries, romance, cookbooks, books on gardening, crafts, history and biography.  They are less likely to borrow a book missing a jacket, a book with a dated appearance, or a book which is worn or damaged.

We gladly accept all local history and genealogy for the Virginia Room collection.

Classics in very good condition (no yellow, brittle pages), preferably with jackets, are also welcomed.

Gently used DVDs are helpful additions, as are unabridged audiobooks on CD.

We Cannot Accept

Although they may have value for the right reader or viewer or listener, we cannot use old encyclopedias, most textbooks, old paperbacks, magazines, movies in VHS format, abridged printed books such as Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, abridged audiobooks, or audiobooks in cassette tape format. 

Medical, legal, or computer books older than five years cannot be used.  Neither can we use previously discarded library books.

Believe it or not, we do not accept National Geographic magazines.  We have a full collection of these and have no room to store additional copies.  We could use, however, extra copies of maps that come with the magazine.

If books have been stored in a basement, garage, furnace room or shed, they may have accumulated dust, dirt, grease, bugs, moisture, mold, mildew, and odors.  These make books uninviting and, unless there is a gem of genealogy that can be cleaned up without extraordinary effort, we are unable to accept these.

Smelly Books

Books with the odor of cigarette or cigar smoke bother a number of readers.  While it may be possible to remove most of the odor, this is a time consuming job which requires special supplies.  We do not have the storage space to house these while they deodorize.

Where to Donate

Materials may be delivered to any TCPL location (Bluefield, Richlands, or Tazewell).  It is most helpful if you call ahead.  Unfortunately, we are unable to come to your house to pick up books nor are we able to unload boxes from your vehicle.

Tax Deduction

Donations may be deducted as charitable contributions in kind on tax returns.  Library staff members are unable to assess the value of donated materials for tax purposes. We will be glad, however, to give you a receipt which will also serve as the acknowledgement of your gift.

We appreciate the generosity of our community and hope this information will help when it comes time to sort and dispose of your attic treasures.  For more information, call us at 988-2541 or visit us at

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Online collection of animated, talking picture books to encourage reading in children.


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