Toronto Public Library scraps used book-buying program

The Toronto Public Library scrapped its pilot program to buy used books for its collection today.

Communications Officer Ana-Maria Critchley said that it was meant as a way to cut costs and shorten wait times, giving more access to the most popular books.

Critchley said the list consisted of “popular adult fiction — so whatever happened to be most popular in a given month. The list was updated on a monthly basis. There were 100 titles.”

It ultimately didn’t do either of those things, so the program was scrapped.

The library bought only 125 books during the four-month test period.

“The people who came and sold their books did, and we got some positive feedback, but in the end, there just wasn’t enough volume there,” Critchley said.

Books could only be sold to the Toronto Reference Library, so there were problems with potential book sellers not being able to make it to that location.

Some popular authors were also worried the program would cut into their sales.

These factors all served to put a premature end to the program.

Critchley stressed you can still donate books to the library.

“We accept them at any library branch or at our bookstores. Books that are in very good condition or less than five years old. Those are donations, and we sell those items, and the money is used to support library services.”