Hardbopjazz

No value?

106 posts in this topic

Over this past weekend, I went to my local library to return a book. There was a man trying to donate a crate of about 300 rock and R&B CD's to the library. The CD's came from a family member that had past away. The librarian kindly said, "Sorry, we have no need for the CD's. No one is borrowing CD's anymore." Are CD's really worthless that a library would refuse free CD's? I have many CD's and often thought where should they be donated to when I check out of this world. I know vinyl has made a come back, but are CD's really headed in the direction of the dodo? 

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Most people just listen online now, it seems, via Spotify, YouTube, or what have you.  I'm happy to still be a CD-hoarding Luddite myself.

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19 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

I'm happy to still be a CD-hoarding Luddite myself.

Me too!!!

Back in the day, I was happily snapping up LPs when people were unloading them for CDs.

Now, I'm doing the same -- except it's the other way around. 😛

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There are two overlapping issues.  First, the fact that relatively few people borrow CDs and most libraries do prefer to invest in streaming services - Hoopla, Naxos, etc.  That said, the library here does get a very few new CD releases and even has a few new vinyl additions to the catalogue.  The second issue is that it is fairly expensive to catalogue a bunch of random CDs (or even books), and if one is looking at a big stack of MOR rock/pop records in who knows what kind of condition, then it is a lot easier to just say no.  I've found it all but impossible to donate targeted books (i.e. ones not in the collection that would fit with the theme of the collection).  The real problem for me is that most used bookstores and used CD stores are going out of business, so there is almost nowhere to get rid of this stuff.

As the boomers and Gen Xers shuffle off this mortal coil, most of the stuff they accumulated is just going into the dump unfortunately...

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I live in a small town and our library, which is not bad, does get in new CDs although nothing that appeals to me. They have a decent collection of CDs in all genres and I sometimes borrow them to copy onto my online library. 

They are also adding books but are now trying to sell some of their books that people have donated. 

The trend seems to be reversing on book stores (including used ones) and the record store in my town recently re-opened after having closed about five years ago so I think they’re back on the upswing. The record store constantly has new lps and CDs (used, of course) so they are being recycled. 

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You would think that the library would accept the donated CDs then mix any unwanted titles with donated books and books being cleared from the stacks in an annual sale like the local friends of the library here has done for years. No library guarantees that donated books will become a part of their circulated collection forever.

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Donated books usually just get sold. Why do we think our old tat is such a gift if we don’t even want it ourselves any more? It costs to catalogue and store books (and then monitor their lending and dispose of the ones that are never borrowed). A cash donation to create a new library wing would go a lot further - but all we want is to free up storage spaces for ourselves, isn’t it?

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I can't tell you how many used jazz and classical CDs and records I've bought for prices like 50 cents apiece from libraries over the years, but they just stopped selling them a number of years ago.

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1 hour ago, David Ayers said:

Donated books usually just get sold. Why do we think our old tat is such a gift if we don’t even want it ourselves any more? It costs to catalogue and store books (and then monitor their lending and dispose of the ones that are never borrowed). A cash donation to create a new library wing would go a lot further - but all we want is to free up storage spaces for ourselves, isn’t it?

The San Diego library has stopped charging late fees. They say it costs them more to collect the fines than it's worth.

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2 hours ago, Captain Howdy said:

The San Diego library has stopped charging late fees. They say it costs them more to collect the fines than it's worth.

I suppose "what it is worth" is the cost of a replacement book.  I can imagine people never returning the book if there is no late fee.  Perhaps there will be a new policy of terminating the scofflaws' borrowing privileges.

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2 minutes ago, GA Russell said:

I suppose "what it is worth" is the cost of a replacement book.  I can imagine people never returning the book if there is no late fee.  Perhaps there will be a new policy of terminating the scofflaws' borrowing privileges.

Or, you know, like, you could spend 15 seconds with Google, and find that such a policy in fact already exists. 

https://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/services/lending/finesfees

"If you have an overdue item, your library card will be blocked and you will not be able to check-out any additional items."

Or I suppose just could post the first thing that pops into your head. Whatever floats your boat, man.

 

As to why the OP's library might not want to accept the donation for a yearly sale: storing the things is a major hassle. Admittedly a fairly extreme example is my local library, in the middle of a highly educated and affluent area, right next to a world-renowned university. The *monthly* sale moves North of 5,000 books, and even with that throughput they're drowning in boxes of books that still need sorting and pricing. It's a major operation with dozens of volunteers, multiple buildings, etc. Once you start accepting donations, you might drown in them!

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1 hour ago, lipi said:

Or, you know, like, you could spend 15 seconds with Google, and find that such a policy in fact already exists. 

https://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/services/lending/finesfees

"If you have an overdue item, your library card will be blocked and you will not be able to check-out any additional items."

Or I suppose just could post the first thing that pops into your head. Whatever floats your boat, man.

 

As to why the OP's library might not want to accept the donation for a yearly sale: storing the things is a major hassle. Admittedly a fairly extreme example is my local library, in the middle of a highly educated and affluent area, right next to a world-renowned university. The *monthly* sale moves North of 5,000 books, and even with that throughput they're drowning in boxes of books that still need sorting and pricing. It's a major operation with dozens of volunteers, multiple buildings, etc. Once you start accepting donations, you might drown in them!

Geez, why so caustic, guy?

In fact, SDPL will automatically renew overdue items a few times before eventually taking harsher measures. 

People used to leave piles of donated books at the front door of my local branch when the library was closed. I'm sure the staff didn't love picking those up every morning.

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Our library stopped the used book sales they ran. Too many unsold items, a lot of which were, well, garbage. 

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11 hours ago, Hardbopjazz said:

... I know vinyl has made a come back, but are CD's really headed in the direction of the dodo? 

Yes, you read everywhere that vinyl sales are surging while CD revenue is falling. But beware of the statistical comparisons that are used to make this claim. Comparing revenue is misleading because the cost of various media are different. Comparing sales volume of only physical media is also rather pointless, but it does make vinyl look promising. For me, the most meaningful way of assessing the popularity of vinyl, CD, etc. is comparing the volume of music sales across all media. Check out this animated GIF that shows recorded music sales by format Share, from 1973 to 2019. It's pretty cool to see the preferences of music buyers over a 46-year period (and it's animated too!). For all its "surges" in recent years, vinyl accounts for only 4.2% of annual music sales. Hardly a comeback imo.

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40 minutes ago, sonnymax said:

Yes, you read everywhere that vinyl sales are surging while CD revenue is falling. But beware of the statistical comparisons that are used to make this claim. Comparing revenue is misleading because the cost of various media are different.  .... For all its "surges" in recent years, vinyl accounts for only 4.2% of annual music sales. Hardly a comeback imo.

Isn't the entire discussion about that "comeback"  (if any) about sales of TANGIBLE, PHYSICAL music media? Isn't this where comparisons are to be made? Aren't downloads, streaming etc. a separate playing field altogether?

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Love my morning paper while drinking my eggs, eating my coffee, and catching up with Steve Canyon, all before the wife gives me a peck on the cheek, a Band-Aid to stop the resultant blood, and, finally, a pat on the ass as she hands me her briefcase while I head out the car door to take the train for a walk.

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On 10/09/2019 at 3:02 PM, JSngry said:

Love my morning paper while drinking my eggs, eating my coffee, and catching up with Steve Canyon, all before the wife gives me a peck on the cheek, a Band-Aid to stop the resultant blood, and, finally, a pat on the ass as she hands me her briefcase while I head out the car door to take the train for a walk.

 

Amen to that. Whatever it means. 

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Ian Anderson sang:

 

Once I used to join in, every boy and girl was my friend
Now there's revolution but they don't know what they're fighting
Let us close our eyes, outside their lives go on much faster

Oh, we won't give in, we'll keep living in the past
Oh, we won't give in, let's go living in the past
Oh no, no, we won't give in, let's go living in the past



Read more:  Jethro Tull - Living In The Past Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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It doesn't bother me so much that I can no longer get any sort of trade-in value for books, or for CD's -- so much as it does really pain me to think that there literally is so little interest in books and CD's that you can't even give them away in many cases.  Cripes!

My wife and I have about 4-5 boxes of books we've been meaning to find a good place to donate to (and finding somewhere that'll take them has been a little hard).  And I also have maybe 200 CD's that I probably ought to cull from my collection (my wife would say 500 CD's) -- that I would similarly like to donate somewhere.

I'm under no illusions that libraries have no actual "need" of them (to use as items to lend) -- but that there's literally no market for any of this perfectly good, and well-maintained stuff (most of which is in very good or even "mint-minus" condition), really does bug me.

You can't tell me that there isn't a market for books and music any more - really??  We still buy books, and I buy CD's all the time.  Not as many as I did 10-15 years ago -- but that's more a reflection of some runaway spending on my part when I was in my 30's (and when I had twice as much space for stuff, and more time).

I just turned 50 (solid Gen-X), and are the leisure-time habits of Millennials really THAT radically different from our generation?  We're not talking about easy-listening 100-strings LP's here, or readers-digest compendiums (and the stuff of Salvation Army donations).

I totally GET that nobody wants encyclopedias (and the two sets in my father's attic are going straight in the dumpster when the auctioneer clears out/cleans out his house -- I totally realize that, even if my father doesn't, and doesn't understand).

But are books and music SO passé -- or at least non-electronic versions of them -- that they literally have no value even as stuff to donate, to be resold at $4 a pop, all of which could go to the charity to which the donation was made??

Maybe I am living in the past, but it wasn't at all like this 10-15 years ago, which wasn't all that long ago at all. 

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I realize that the trend is elsewhere, but if you want to do research in music it can best be done with physical media surrounding you; books, CDs, LPs, and means of ACCURATE playback. I have accumulated the best American music CD collection on earth, likely, for the span 1900-1970. I have written 6 books based on this collection and reissued something like 100 CDs. If this makes me a relic, so be it. Trying to do it differently results in gaps, mistakes, lack of personnel and credit, etc.  You also need to know the sound quality of reissues, what's good, what's better, and what's not. This in itself is more than essential.

When I die, if it's worth anything, my family can sell or donate. I know of one major library that has been begging me for this stuff, but for complex reasons, it's not gonna happen soon.

 

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Over here the only way to donate books is to no profit associations that work within prisons 

Edited by porcy62

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Better World Books takes donations, sells online, provides to schools, recycles where appropriate, etc.Recently gave them several hundred books.  Goodwill has a huge presence on Ebay reselling used CD's and DVD's, so I imagine they will gladly take those donations (I'll find out firsthand soon).

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Re. music: people love it, but not the CD medium. So no loss of interest there. 

 

Re. books: of course people buy books. They are easy to find and mostly inexpensive. But let’s say you have 5000 books that you want to get rid of. Do you want them? No. Do you want 5000 of mine? No. So what really are these piles of paper? Items that mostly cost very little to make, by the way. 

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On 9/10/2019 at 4:07 AM, Brad said:

Our library stopped the used book sales they ran. Too many unsold items, a lot of which were, well, garbage. 

Mine, Multnomah County Library, still holds twice yearly sales which is where many donations end up.  They still charge adults late fees, but not children, and there are those who wish to do away with adult fines.

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6 hours ago, felser said:

Better World Books takes donations, sells online, provides to schools, recycles where appropriate, etc.Recently gave them several hundred books.  Goodwill has a huge presence on Ebay reselling used CD's and DVD's, so I imagine they will gladly take those donations (I'll find out firsthand soon).

They sell a lot on Amazon, too. They're usually the lowest priced because they list everything as "acceptable", presumably because it saves them the time needed to assess the actual condition of every item. 

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