Monday, March 17, 2008

Here We Go Again

Will library and school administrators never learn that tossing perfectly good books into dumpsters is just not a good idea? In the 14 months that I've been posting book related articles on this site this must be at least the fourth time that this kind of utter stupidity has caught my attention.

This time the stupidity originates in a Queens intermediate school

Hundreds of new or slightly used books were tossed into a Dumpster outside of a Queens middle school early Friday, outraging staff members who can't believe the waste.

Several garbage bags filled with copies of classic literature like "Little Women," "Sarah, Plain and Tall" and "Treasure Island" were discarded in a Dumpster alongside Intermediate School 73 in Maspeth.

"Those books, you open them up, they still crack, they're so new," one staffer said. "Why not give them away or hold a book drive at least?"

The hardcover books, including "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" and "Kidnapped," appeared new or slightly used, but were nonetheless stuffed into black garbage bags and thrown into the trash.
And these people dare to call themselves "educators." Waste of books that have been donated to a school through PTA groups or purchased with taxpayer funds is simply disgusting. There's no nice way to say it and no way to justify the poor judgment of those involved. The only, and I stress only, slack I'm willing to cut these guys is if the books had somehow become contaminated with mold. That does not appear to be the case here.

Shame on those at Intermediate School 73 (Maspeth) who made this disgraceful decision. Even the teachers there are disgusted and speaking out. Here we go again.

(Picture credited to Nicastro for News - please see link to the Daily News (Queens) website for the whole article.)


  1. That's outrageous! I can understand if the books were worn out, stained, falling apart from much use; but so new the spines aren't even cracked? Why not GIVE THEM AWAY?

  2. My guess, Jeane, is that they didn't want to be bothered to make the effort. It was deemed to be easier just to toss them into the garbage...they never expected to be ratted out by their own teachers.

    Bravo, teachers!

  3. Why were they getting reading of these books in the first place?

    Even if they were duplicates or something, they should've been donated or sold (what school doesn't need money?).

  4. Idiots. I'm never returning to the American public school system. But good on the teachers that ratted them out.

  5. The Witch of Blackbird Pond in a dumpster? Now that just breaks my heart. I absolutely love that book. When I was a kid, I read it 12 times. When I went to college, I checked it out and read it again. Still loved it. When my kids were young, I bought another copy, read it again. Still loved it. A couple of years ago, I pulled it back out, read it again. Still loved it.

  6. "Idiots" is far too kind a description, bybee...but I guess I'd better leave it at that.

  7. Syndi, it's exactly what you describe that makes this so terribly sad...and infuriating...