Librarians and Archivists

As a librarian and archivist one of the many tasks you face is that of weeding out books.

Here at Abacus Books we have a proven system that helps bring significant monies to your institution in this process which takes little time on your part.

If this may be something you are interested in feel free to call or email us at for more information.

References available upon request.


A look at our nations top archivist

I came across a great blog today featuring the nation’s top archivist. His experience is very impressive. From his own blog site

“David S. Ferriero was confirmed as 10th Archivist of the United States on November 6, 2009.
Previously, Mr. Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries (NYPL). He was part of the leadership team responsible for integrating the four research libraries and 87 branch libraries into one seamless service for users, creating the largest public library system in the United States and one of the largest research libraries in the world.”

One thing I like about this blog is the openness of Mr.Ferriero and his honest inquiry of what the public thinks.

You can visit his site here.


A little information about us

Years ago when we both started in this business, there were plenty of book buyers and used bookstores. Denver for example had numerous used bookstores that customers flocked to, though a majority of these stores are gone now, a few still remain.

We came to a crossroad a few years back how are we going to move forward with technological advances such as the internet? How can we fulfill our customer’s needs?

We decided the best solution for our new and repeat customer was to become more mobile. As the world decided to work mostly from behind a computer at their office, we thought it was best to interact face to face.

Through technological advances the marketplace for a lot of businesses is constantly changing. We believe some simple basic principles that have always worked, still work today. Meeting and talking to people face to face or being able to answer phone calls for a variety of questions.

At Abacus Used Books we are more than just a company. We are real people with names who believe a customer is a person? As always feel free to comment or call with any questions.

We are here for you.


The task of weeding out books

One of the many tasks of a librarian is the deacquisition or weeding of books. This process has been made easier due to technology over the years, yet and the end of this process, one question remains. What do I do with the books?

Most libraries have a book rack that discards can go on and generally sell from anywhere from one to three dollars a piece.

This can bring in a small amount of cash flow for your used books, but space is generally limited.

Some have hosted their own book sale, though with layoffs of library staff and other factors, these are becoming less common. The time for preparation, staff and many other time consuming factors make this more often that not a burden.

Some libraries have chosen to work with third parties to help with their discards. Most run on the plan of you pack and ship your books to them, and whatever sells is split on an agreed upon percentage.

The companies list the books on the internet, and use aggressive pricing software that quickly brings down the books in value. They have large overheads, so they must constantly attempt to sell the books at whatever price they can get. [1]

For a lot of discards such as common fiction this is fine, but what about better non fiction? Or perhaps a collection that you as a librarian feel has some importance.

We suggest reaching out to a local book dealer. Many will be happy to offer you better prices for these books. Most can be found through your local yellow book.

At abacus books, we work with libraries in Denver and Boulder, with the business model of offering payment up front. We come in and generally are there less than an hour, and write a check on the spot.

These relationships we have formed are beneficial to both us and the libraries we work with. Libraries are still able to still host a book sale or a used book rack and charge prices the public enjoys, while still getting top dollar for books that the general public can’t pay or have no interest in the subjects.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or use the contact form.

[1] I have had discussions with some librarians on why a multivolume set or an important science book was sold for a penny. The pricing software many of these companies use, aggressively bring the price down every few hours.