Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy National Library Week!

It's National Library Week, and no one loves to support libraries more than B-Logistics! We love to help libraries, foundations, and Friends of the Library groups re-sell weeded and donated materials to help raise extra funds for their organizations. We also love library humor, and are thankful that we have a "Netflix for Books" available to us in our communities!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, John Steinbeck!

Happy Birthday to John Steinbeck! The author of 27 books, and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962, he is one of the greatest American authors.

In honor of John Steinbeck’s birthday today, I decided to write a review of his novel “Of Mice and Men”. I recently read this book for the first time as part of my goal to read one book a week (or 52 total) in 2013. I don’t know how I missed out on reading this book in high school, but I decided it was time to tackle it.

It has been a while since I read a Steinbeck novel, the most recent being “The Winter of Our Discontent”, two years ago. I had forgotten how easy it is to read Steinbeck; he doesn’t beat around the bush, and provides vivid imagery to set the scene for the reader.

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the book, and wish to do so without preconceived notions, please do not read any further!

Since the book is very short (only 107 pages), I was able to read it in one day. I enjoy reading this way because I can stay in the story and take everything in in one fell swoop. I had heard that the book was very sad, and those anecdotes proved true.

 The book tells the story of George Milton and Lenny Small, two migrant workers who struggle to find and keep work due to Lenny’s mental disability. While Lenny is a bit of a gentle giant, his inability to know and control his own actions repeatedly gets the duo into trouble.

One of the main themes of the book is essentially “The American Dream”. Published in 1937, the book tells the story of individuals who yearn for independence, and a life under their own power. Most of the characters in the book are poor, and beholden to others for their pay, food, and shelter. Throughout the book, George and Lenny spread their dream of “living of the fatta the lan’”, and having their own farm in a location that only George knows about. There is a triumphant moment in the second half of the book where it seems that this dream is really going to come true. As a reader, I felt very happy for George at this moment, because as tough as he wants to seem, he has a kind heart and is a good person for taking care of Lenny. Unfortunately, Steinbeck is as cruel as most authors, and disaster prevents this American dream from coming true.

Another theme in the book is loyalty. As I mentioned previously, George is essentially Lenny’s caretaker. They are repeatedly questioned as to why they traveled together, which indicates that this kind of loyalty was not common at the time. Lenny is strong as an ox which makes him a good worker, but has the mind of a child, which creates many problems for George. George hints throughout the book that he is resentful towards Lenny, and that it would be easier for him to go out on his own, but he never abandons him, and does everything he can to help Lenny navigate life. It is really sweet how George takes care of Lenny, even in the end when Lenny accidentally murders a woman, and George kills him to prevent a gruesome death at the hands of the woman’s husband. It was very sad to read about Lenny’s demise, but also made me see that George always did what was best for Lenny, even when it was very hard.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and am glad to have read it.

What is your favorite Steinbeck novel? Have you read “Of Mice and Men”? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Name is Emily, and I am a Book Nerd

At three years old I began suffering from an affliction that affects thousands of people in the United States; I became a book nerd. My "gateway book" was a board book about a little baby that my mom read to me every night. I loved the book so much that I learned to "read" it. (Really, I just memorized the words and when it was time to turn the page.) I was hooked. Once my mom realized what I had done, she  began teaching me the alphabet, which I mastered with practice (you could call her an enabler). When I began Kindergarten, the addiction was solidified.

Since my introduction to books, I have never been cured. Though my mother tried to keep me from reading in inappropriate places (the dinner table, church, under the covers after bedtime), I never kicked the habit. Board books led to The Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Jones, and Little House on the Prairie. As my addiction worsened, and I began reading more hardcore stuff, like Harry Potter and The Giver. I went to junior high, and my teachers introduced me to literature, which soon led me to works by George Orwell and  J.R.R. Tolkien. My high school obsession with The Lord of the Rings was probably my lowest point,  as I read the books over and over again to soak up as much of Middle Earth as possible.

In my undergrad I read less, because in college, who has time to read for fun? After I graduated I had the startling realization, "I can read whatever I want again!". This new freedom to explore genres that I hadn't read in years was exhilarating. I read philosophy, fantasy, politics, science, new books, and old books. I keep a list of all the books I read each year, and enjoy looking through them and remembering everything I learned. This year, I am challenging myself to read one book a week. I am already behind, but that's okay, because my addiction will see me through!

Books make me feel something that I can't get anywhere else. I am a book-sniffer, and never a page-folder. I love to touch books, read books, collect books, and give books as gifts. I love libraries, books stores, and home collections. I dream of someday having a library with a ladder (this is probably my #1 goal in life).
When I have a ladder in my library, my life will be complete.

 I love books, and I love people who love books. Book nerdom is an addiction I hope to never overcome!

If you are a book nerd, please join my support group by leaving a comment about your own struggles with book addiction.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Book Crafts

B-Logistics loves any project that re-purposes a book and keeps it out of the landfill, and what better way than to make book crafts as holiday gifts and decorations? Today we will look at some of our favorite book-related crafting projects, and give you a little holiday inspiration! Click on the pictures for full tutorials.

Miniature Books

These bite-sized books look cute enough to eat! They are great as personalized ornaments, for a little girl's dollhouse, or as jewelry charms.They are super easy to make, and only require a few materials that most people will have lying around the house.

Book Page Magnets

What better to hold up the week's shopping list than an adorable set of magnets featuring passages from your favorite books? The tutorial warns that you have to be willing to "murder" a book in order to complete this project, so head to your local thrift store to find copies that you don't plan on reading in the future. 

Advent Calendar

Make your own holiday advent calendar using this tutorial. All you need are basic paper-cutting supplies, some glue, and your imagination! Fill these little sachets with treats for your children (or yourself), and count down the days 'til Christmas in homemade style!

I hope that these crafts inspired you to make your own book-related gifts and decorations this year? What are your favorite holiday crafts? Tell us in the comments.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

California or Bust

This past weekend the B-Logistics team headed to San Jose, CA to exhibit at the California Library Association's Annual Conference. The theme of this year's conference was "Defying Gravity: Libraries Without Limits". This was my first conference with a state library association, and it was a very educational experience. It is always amazing to talk to librarians in person about their discards and donations--it reminds me that American libraries are independent and unique in how they handle problems and make decisions. Each library is different, which makes me proud to work for a company that can help so many of them with a problem that many libraries today face; how to make revenue off their weeded and donated materials while their Friends of the Library groups are diminishing. This is not to say that all Friends groups are going away, I spoke with many librarians who raved about the effectiveness and enthusiasm of their Friends. But for those libraries who are facing changes to how they normally dealt with their unwanted books, I am glad that B-Logistics is there to help.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Webinar Opportunity: Weeding Your Library Collection

On Thursday, September 20th, B-Logistics founder Bart Crawford will partner with Bowker and Library Journal to present a webinar on how to weed efficiently while still keeping the core collection intact for your students, faculty, and other researchers. Aimed at academic libraries, this informative webinar is sure to provide valuable information on how to best use Bowker products for large weeding projects.

B-Logistics has joined Bowker as a logistics partner to facilitate a turn-key library program. With Bowker’s software, libraries may efficiently analyze, weed and preserve their collection. After selecting and culling specific titles, libraries may turn over physical handling of weeded materials to B- Logistics for responsible management. Through software-managed logistics and e-commerce, B-Logistics Resells, Redistributes or Recycles these materials on behalf of its library partners. 

To attend the webinar, sign up at

To learn more about working with B-Logistics, visit

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Getting the Donations You Need

Welcome to part two of our series on improving your library or Friends of the Library book sale! Today we will discuss how to get the community donations you need to sustain book sales.

Libraries and Friends of the Library groups work together to sell weeded materials as well as books donated by the community in order to financially support library programs. Each relationship is unique to each library; some FOL's only sell donations and some sell a combination.Whatever the situation, almost all FOL's face issues related to donations. Sorting, organizing, recycling, and storage space are necessary when dealing with donations, and can pose a huge hurdle to many small libraries and FOL groups. One way to diminish these problems is by communicating specific book needs to the community. By telling the public what sells best at sales (and thus best supports their library), you can cut volunteer hours as well as boxes of useless materials from your storage closets.

First, you must determine what types of books you do and do not want. If your library has the capacity to handle all types of books, that's great! But many have space restrictions, so limiting what comes in can help. At your next sale, pay attention to what sells best. Generally the most popular books are children’s, popular fiction (NYT Bestsellers), and genre-specific non-fiction (cookbooks, craft books, nature books). Sometimes it is easier to look at what never sells, and simply ask that donations of those types of books are taken elsewhere, like a local thrift store or recycling company. Computer books, textbooks, law books, and magazines are all materials that go out of date quickly. These are less likely to sell at your book sale, and more likely to take up precious storage space following a sale.

Once you have decided what types of books you want you must get the information out there. For all book donation needs, communication is key!  Many people in your community may not even realize that the library takes donations of books. Make sure that there is information on your library and FOL websites informing visitors that yes, donations are accepted. Here you can include your list of wanted/unwanted materials, so that people can sort out anything you have decided not to accept. Make sure to also include where donations can be dropped off, and what times. Explain the list on your blog, Tweet it, and post it on your Facebook page. Ask for donations through local radio, and direct people towards your website for more information. Create flyers or postcards to place at the circulation desk. You want the community to know that you are interested in their books, and that there are certain ones that will help the library the most!

If your library or FOL still struggles to handle incoming donations after specifying which books you do and no not want, consider working with B-Logistics. We don't require sorting, scanning, or special boxes when you send us your materials. Visit today to see if B-Logistics is a good fit for you!