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!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Advertising Your Book Sale

Today we are starting a series of ideas for improving a library or Friends of the Library book sale. Each topic will cover a new area, along with relevant resources and websites. The first topic, which we will cover today, is; Advertising  Your Book Sale.

People who frequent libraries are not the only ones in a community interested in buying books. Many people love to browse used book sales, but miss out because they did not know the sale was happening. Advertise outside the library as well as within! With flyers in public spaces, announcements in local papers and on local radio shows, and large signs outside the library announcing the sale, you are sure to draw in new people who do not frequent the library on a regular basis. Some great places to advertise are coffee shops, malls, bowling alleys, pet stores, and other small businesses. Use Google Maps' "Search Nearby" function to seek out these types of establishments around your library. Divide up locations between willing volunteers, and spend a day hanging up flyers (with the owner's permission, of course). Flyers can easily be made using Microsoft Word, and only need the words "Used Book Sale" and the price ranges of the books (along with all other relevant information) in order to entice the book worms of your community!

At your next sale you can collect e-mails of anyone interested in e-mail announcements of future sales and other FOL activities. You can also use this e-mail list to ask for more volunteers when necessary, and for general communication with the people who support you in your community. E-mail lists are a great way to get the word out, especially if you ask that recipients forward the sale announcements to anyone they think would be interested. 

Another great way to advertise your sales is through social media and other online outlets. Announce a sale in the weeks leading up on all social media platforms, but focus most of your attention on the ones with the most active members. If your library or FOL has a blog, this is a perfect place to start, since it can give all the details and easily be shared through Facebook and Twitter. You can also list your sale on websites like Book Sale Finder, which maintains a calendar of book sales, and will alert subscribers when book sales are happening within a prescribed distance of their home.

We hope that these ideas were helpful! What is your library or FOL doing to advertise book sales? Let us know in the comments!

Helpful Links:

E-mail Sign-Up Sheet and Advertising Templates
Finding Local Businesses Google Maps

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Going Out in a New Coat and Old Shoes

It's interesting to think about B-Logistics at ALA this year and last.  We've seen lot's of change over eleven-plus years as a library partner, but it all seems a bit accelerated recently.  Doesn't it...or is it our imagination?

B-Logistics has undergone significant change prior to each of the last two ALA shows.  Prior to New Orleans last June, we were acquired by a much larger software and logistics company and expanded our operational presence tenfold across the country.  This year, prior to Anaheim, that same larger, acquiring company re-branded itself Discover Books ( and and made deeper commitments to books, literacy, libraries and social good in general.

But, B-Logistics' steps seem merely reflective of a faster pace of change in Library World at some base level.  Libraries remain community pillars to be sure, but all the variables in their world seem to be evolving more quickly.  Funding.  Technology. Volunteerism.  Facilities.  And so on.

E-books are here...for better and worse.  The economic climate remains challenging.  Friends groups have never been stronger, or never more obsolete, depending on who you ask.  Kiosks may be the new branches, and the internet may kill the bookmobile.  It all makes for a swirling stew in a pressure cooker.  That's exciting and terrifying all at once!

While the library's role as a community hub and repository of information and learning is safe (arguably more important than ever), is the model changing radically?  If it's only the same incremental change that we've seen for years, decades and centuries, should we encourage radical change in an effort to make libraries the community vanguard again?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Switch to Digital

James LaRue, director of Douglas County Libraries in Colorado, recently wrote an article for American Libraries magazine on the future of library funding for digital and print resources. In the article he predicts that three years from now, public libraries will divert as much as 50% of their budgets to digital content—creating wider access to e-books as more and more people switch to e-readers. It is wonderful that libraries are responding to their patron’s demand for digital, however as demand for print books declines, so too may the necessity to keep them on hand. In a few short years we may see libraries ridding themselves of thousands of books that are no longer needed by their patrons due to the switch to digital. Libraries may also see a rise in donations from the public, who are replacing their home collections with digital copies. Libraries with active Friends groups and productive sales will take advantage of this influx, while those who lack these resources for dealing with discards and donations may find themselves drowning under boxes of paperbacks. No one wants to see these books go to waste, especially not B-Logistics. We want to help libraries manage their excess materials, while creating a revenue stream that can provide funds for e-books and library programs. Visit to learn more!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Traveling With Books

I’ve been traveling lately (from Utah to Quebec City by train), and with my world on my back, I feel that every item I carry must be essential. I am a die-hard analog reader, so deciding what books to take when traveling takes careful consideration. There are many factors that come into play. How many books do I need to get me through the trip? Should I choose smaller/lighter books, even though they may not be next on my reading list? What if I end up not wanting to read any of them, and I am stranded at a train station in the middle of nowhere (Depew, NY) with nothing to do? Taking all these things into consideration, I chose to bring two books—one, an impractically huge hardcover (and the most recent installment of a series I am obsessed with), and a small paperback that is an old favorite. I justified the hardcover to myself, because I will finish A Feast for Crows before I see George R.R. Martin at the ALA convention in Anaheim (and have him autograph it, and my body), and I planned to have a lot of reading time on my trip. The smaller book, The Tao of Pooh, fell into the “I’ve already read this and loved it, and if I get cranky on the train it will cheer me up” category. So, a mix of book lust and practicality ultimately determined my reading choices for my cross-county adventure. How do you decide what books to take on a trip? How many is too much? Or, if you have an e-reader, how do you decide between all your options at hand?


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Keeping Books Close By
We've mentioned a few ideas for things to do with weeded and donated materials - heck, we even had things to build with books, too - but we understand that not every book needs to move on to the next chapter in their literary lives. Sometimes books need to stay with us, exist beyond the border of their own bindings and enrich our imaginations for another round of romance, mystery, and adventure. We could simply store our literary loves in the confines of a dusty bookshelf, but if you're slightly more daring, O Captain my Captain, there are more stylish and practical storage solutions.

For those living in small spaces, .nobody&co has introduced a sit-down solution to storing stories. Now you can curl up, clutter-free in a cozy corner, grab the tale that has taken your attention for the time being, and enjoy. Finish it up before you've fed your book appetite? No problem, the next one is at your fingertips...

Functional, fairly attractive, and yet I can't help but ask - where do I put my skinny chai latte? Leave a comment below and let us know the one thing you would be missing from this fine piece of furniture. [via Flavorwire]

Friday, April 27, 2012

Book Buildings

I was recently introduced to a most AMAZING resource on the web - FLAVORWIRE. When it comes to random, interesting stuff about cultural news, they are quickly becoming my go-to site. Today, we connected on a whole new level. They, like us, are pretty big book nerds... Emily wrote a post about Five Things to Do with Weeded and Donated Materials, which had some really great ideas (my vote goes to hiding them at Ikea), but for those who want to make more of a statement with their extra books, you can always make your own book building!

Being a good Canadian kid, I was immediately drawn to the igloo designed by a Colombian artist - Colombia must be much warmer than ol' Canada, because they only need half-igloos! Check out the entire gallery of Buildings Made Out of Books, and leave a comment with your favorite*!

* Or for my fellow Canadians, your favourite!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Five Things to Do with Weeded and Donated Materials

Every library has them--weeded and donated materials that sit in a storage closet, waiting for their next glimpse of sunlight at the annual book sale. Some libraries receive so many donations that they can't handle the volume, and are forced to decline donations in the name of practicality. Here is a list of ideas for managing the hundreds and thousands of donated and weeded books that libraries must find a solution to every year. 

1. Hide Them at IKEA

Whenever I go to IKEA I am always impressed by the illusion that the micro-apartments on display are inhabited. There are clothes in the closets, toothbrushes on the steel-plated bathroom sink, and books everywhere. But, they’re all in Swedish, and tend to be multiple copies of the same book. Why not hide your unwanted tomes among the Swedish novels? At the very least, it will give fighting couples something to look at when fuming after a disagreement over which sleek black armchair to purchase.

2. Donate Them Elsewhere

Some libraries want to keep their weeded and donated books within their communities, so they will donate the books to local charities. Some charities, like the Salvation Army, will even pick the books up, saving libraries the hassle of transport. Many children’s literacy organizations are also happy to take donations of children’s books for their programs. Ask around your community to find out where the need is! 

3.  Make Them Into Art

There are so many lovely art projects that can be done with books! Whether it’s the pages, the binding, illustrations, or the whole book itself, there are innumerable ways to make a book into something new and beautiful. Check out our “Book Crafts” Pinterest board for more ideas.

 4. Revamp the Circulation Desk

While any old old desk will do, one made from books adds a special touch to a library’s atmosphere. It may take a while to collect the right size and number of books to make this work, but the payoff is gorgeous! This desk from Delft University of Technology is just stunning! 

5. Partner With B-Logistics to Sell Them Online

What better way to relieve your library of an over-abundance of weeded and donated materials than to partner with a reliable seller who will give back a percentage of the sale? With B-Logistics there is no scanning and no sorting, we take everything and do all the work for you! We donate or recycle everything that cannot be sold, so nothing goes to waste. Why not give it a try? Please visit our website and ask us how we can help you get started today!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Five Ways Libraries Can Go Green for Spring

1. Plant a Micro Garden

Gardens are great educational tools for teaching children and adults alike about where their food comes from. Micro gardens can be easily created out of old coffee cups, baking pans, or even planters brought indoors. Herbs are a perfect choice to grow in your micro garden, and can grow year-round. Hang them by windows, or display on bookshelves to bring the Springtime indoors!

2. Create a Seed Library

 Seed libraries are all the rage right now, and are excellent ways to promote home gardening and sustain agricultural diversity. A seed library is a perfect sister-program to a micro-garden, and encourages patrons to share the bounty of their gardens. Libraries can work together with local farms and community gardens to initiate the inventory and to educate gardeners about how to collect and store seeds so they can be returned at the end of the season. With a seed catalog and a planting calendar, you will be all set to start your community seed garden! Check out this blog for more information on how to start a seed library

3. Create a "Green" Display for Earth Day

Earth Day is fast approaching on April 22, and is the perfect opportunity to display green-related materials. Topics could include environmental groups, recycling, agriculture, renewable energies, and even the color green (who doesn’t love an excuse to display Green Eggs and Ham?). Include some fliers with local recycling information, and your library is bound to be one of the greenest spots in town!

4. Host a "Stuff Swap"

Stuff Swaps are great ways to re-purpose unwanted items within a community. Almost everyone has clothing, books, CD’s, DVD’s, furniture and electronics that they no longer use, but haven’t found a better purpose for yet. Whether the swap focuses on specific items or stuff in general, participants will walk away with something new, and will know that their old items are going to a good home. Items left over at the end of the event can be donated to local charities, thrift stores, or homeless shelters. 

5. Re-purpose Library Books

Every library has books they no longer use, but what happens to them? Many end up in paper recycling receptacles, while some meet their unfortunate end in a dumpster. While many libraries are looking for environmentally responsible ways to handle these materials, they are also finding themselves to be one of the main repositories for books donations by the public. All these books can be overwhelming! Book sales are a staple of just about every library's yearly calendar, but inevitably, when the sale ends, a number of books still remain. Working with B-Logistics is the perfect solution to solving the problem of having too many weeded and donated books. B-Logistics will list salable books in the online marketplace, donate appropriate materials to charity partners, and responsibly recycle the rest! Visit to find out more!