University Library Books – UPDATE

The Results of Our University Library Visit.  


Last week Liz (my wife) and I set off to visit one of our friendly Universities, with whom we have worked for the last five years, and it occurred to me that this trip would give me a perfect opportunity for me to show you exactly how a typical University Library visit plays out in practise.

On average we visit this particular University about three times a year, timing our trips to coincide with student holidays, as that is when the librarian has more time to spend with us.

It must be borne in mind that no two Universities are ever alike.  All the librarians will have different expectations of what kind of service you are offering, so it’s best to spell out the type of books you are looking for, and your terms of payment, well in advance.

The parking and loading facilities at each venue will also differ.  Always get good directions for both travelling, parking and loading.  If all else fails try to track down the University Porter on your arrival.  I always find them helpful.

You will also need to have something to carry the books to your car with.  I prefer strong carrier bags, over boxes, as I have a bit of a dodgy back.  Whilst boxes might be provided on-site, it would be advisable to take a supply of carrier bags with you.

Also, remember to take some cash with you!

Here are the statistics of our visit:

  • We collected 166 books in total.
  • Of these, we listed 75 on Amazon, giving a total list value of just over £1,400 – Looking back, this figure is about average for us from this particular university library.
  • I paid £60 cash.
  • Petrol for the day was £40.
  • The rest of the books were not suitable for listing, either because the condition was too poor, there was no existing listing on Amazon, or because there was too much competition from similar low-priced books.  If the books are too heavy (to post) this makes it not viable.
  • About 12 of these books we will list on eBay, as an alternative to Amazon, and the rest will go to charity.  I prefer to use Oxfam, as they can genuinely sell the books I can’t use.  I get regular statements from them telling me how much they have earned from the books I donate!

It must be borne in mind that this particular library is one of our best contacts. Not all the libraries I visit are so fruitful, so you have to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth.

It’s only been a few days since we finished listing the books online and we have already sold four books, for £60.89  – see screenshot below.  We would expect our sales to start to climb once the students start buying books online, in readiness for the Autumn term.