About three or four years ago, I was out antiquing around the area, and I stopped in a small local library. You never know if you will find something of interest at ongoing library book sales. This particular library had no sales, so I decided to look and see what series books were on the shelves for circulation. When I got to the K's, I found a large number of library bound Nancy Drews. I later found out that the copies I was looking at were known as Cameo Editions. Jennifer White's web site has some extensive information about these editions. Click here to see the books. I thought the covers were neat, and they were in okay condition considering they were probably published in the 1960s. This was my hunch, based on the fact that so many of them were Original text copies. We know that the Drews were revised in the 60s and 70s.
It seemed logical, based on the age of these volumes, that the library might be interested in accepting a gift of new copies of the classic 56. I contacted the head of the library with a simple proposal. I would donate a set of Nancy Drew books to the library, or give them the money to purchase a new set library bound. My only request was that I could have the older volumes on the shelf. Library books have little resale value among collectors. They are more of an anomaly to collectors. They show a variant, or alternative copy of a familiar title. My offer was rejected by the Head Librarian of the county. She seemed very suspect of my motives. She told me that old library books were commanding "huge" prices on Ebay, so they have a policy to only weed a collection when the books have basically lost all value.I tried to explain to her that these books had little value, but she refused to budge. In addition, she told me the library only accepts cash donations that have no stipulation on how the money is to be spent. I personally find that policy ridiculous. If I wanted to give money to have a huge wing placed on a library, they won't accept the gift?
I returned to this library late last year. I casually went to the children's collection to check out the Nancy Drew books. Probably half of the titles that were there before were now gone, and had not been replaced. The remaining volumes had deteriorated to such a state that I doubt any twenty first century child would have any interest in reading them. Old books on library shelves tend to have no circulation. So the children in that tiny town really no longer have access to a wonderful children's series.
Short sightedness can certainly be maddening.