We do a lot of trading in the nonprofit arena. Happily, many nonprofits are the recipients of generous donations in surplus inventory from a number of places. But they can’t always use the donation. So we have an informal network of trading partners so that the donation eventually finds its way to a new home.

Michelle Ericksen, the Book’em book programs coordinator, drops off boxes of books at the CRC warehouse.

That’s the case with Book ‘Em, a great organization that is committed to making sure under-served children experience the joys of reading. They obviously get a lot of donated books (new or gently, gently used, please!). But some of them aren’t appropriate for their target audience. People donate books for adults, for example. Book ‘Em also receives books with religious themes that they can’t use. So they come to CRC. We give the adult books to senior centers and agencies with residential programs. The religious books go to our many faith-based nonprofit partners.

There is only one category of book that gets recycled or, if we’re feeling a little churlish on a particular day, trashed. Encyclopedias from 1984 or some other year in the distant past.  Really, folks? Who, exactly, do you think needs a 28-year-old set of encyclopedias?

Just for kicks, let’s see what was up in 1984. Clara Peller first asks, “Where’s the Beef?” in a Wendy’s commercial. Apple Computer Inc unveils its Macintosh personal computer. The Baltimore Colts sneak out of Charm City and move to Indianapolis. The Centers for Disease Control confirms the virus discovered in France causes AIDS. Carl Lewis wins the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics.

O.K. A pretty noteworthy year. But we’re still not keeping the encyclopedias.

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