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  • 1. The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0888-045X.htmBL24,2 Selecting foreign language books donated by Asia Foundation and Asian-US Bridge Foundation96 Juan Wang Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai Campus, Zhuhai, Guangdong, ChinaReceived November 2010Accepted June 2011 Abstract Purpose – Many Chinese libraries have limited budget to buy foreign language books. The purpose of this paper is to introduce an available and cheaper suggestion for the budgets of small libraries’ foreign language books acquisition. Design/methodology/approach – This paper discusses the benefits of selecting donated books and takes some small libraries in China as examples to conduct the case study. Findings – Advantages of selecting donated books include: quick arrival, lower cost, and a variety of title selections. Disadvantages are: no book list, long distance, unsatisfied selection. Practical implications – Donated books in one’s purchasing program can substantially expand the range and amount of materials that libraries are able to collect. Originality/value – This paper will be useful to any library facing budget cuts as well as looking for ways to continually provide a wide variety of library materials. Keywords Libraries, Donated books, China, Asia Foundation, Asian-US Bridge Foundation Paper type Case study Due to the increasingly higher cost of foreign books, the budget of foreign books acquisition in most libraries has been tighter and tighter. It is high time to figure out the cheaper way of enhancing one’s purchasing power: getting foreign language books from which donated by Asia Foundation and Asian-US Bridge Foundation. Introduction of Asia Foundation and Asian-US Bridge Foundation The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region. In 2009, the Foundation provided more than $86 million in program support and distributed nearly one million books and journals valued at over $43 million (http://asiafoundation.org). The Asian-US Bridge Foundation is an international nonprofit organization which supports education and research in developing countries in Asia. The Foundation has sent more than 2 million books and journals to China and 500,000 to Southeast Asia. In China, the Ministry of Education coordinates distributions through three centers to more than 450 schools. Librarians and faculty from the schools visit the centers to select materials (www.bridge.org).The Bottom Line: Managing LibraryFinancesVol. 24 No. 2, 2011pp. 96-99 The reasons to make use of donated booksq Emerald Group Publishing Limited0888-045X There are several reasons to put donated books into the library’s acquisition plan,DOI 10.1108/08880451111169115 especially for our library, which range from cost, availability, to course requirements.
  • 2. Limited budget Selecting foreignGetting donated books can stretch one’s budget for acquisition of foreign books. First, language booksour college is a small private college in China. The budget of library is very limited andthus a tiny portion of budget remained for acquisition of foreign books by mostexpenditure of money on Chinese books and databases. According to the statistics, thebudget of public university’s library is always about 10 million. While our library’budget is 4 million, and that of foreign language books merely accounts for eight 97percent – only 0.3 million. It is really a tight budget for any library.Arriving library quicklyThe speed of traditional purchasing approach is very slow. Most Chinese librariespurchase foreign language books by import and export corporation, e.g. GNPIEC,CEPIEC. For example, our library bids for acquisition of foreign language books atevery beginning of the school year. After the processes of bidding off, getting book listand books selection, the selected books are unable to the reach of the library until sixmonths later. As for the donated books, you can select them on the spot. One or twoweeks the selected books may come into circulation.There is the cheapest way to fill in the foreign language collection gapsGenerally speaking, the price of original foreign language copy is more than 100RMBeven in online shop, which costs as twice as Chinese copy’s. The average price ofChinese copy is ranges from 30RMB to 50RMB depending on the subjects with theincreasingly higher price. But the books donated by Asia Foundation and Asian-USBridge Foundation are free and what you just need to do is pay for the delivering. Inthis case, our library only needs to pay for the freight – 12RMB. Those libraries nearthe center spend even less. So, this is the cheapest way.Contents take priority over conditionThere are different kinds of donated books, such as college, graduate and professionallevel books, journals and other forms of information in all fields (but especially inscience, engineering, art, and literature), both used and new. Contents take priority overconditions. Used books are as desirable as new ones if the information of contents iscurrent and their condition is presentable.Some books is unavailableWhile tens of thousands of books are published in China each year, there will alwaysbe some subjects that are not written about very often. The subject may be obscure, outof fashion, or simply never well covered. Some subjects of donated books may be one’sbest bet. For example, the foreign language classic literature (1996 version) is notavailable for Faculty of Foreign Language in our college, but they find it amongdonated books.DisadvantagesThere are so many benefits of using donated books, although there are still somedisadvantages.
  • 3. BL No book list24,2 Asia Foundation and Asian-US Bridge Foundation are both international nonprofit organizations which supports education and research in developing countries in Asia. They just delivered the donated books to some centers in China. These centers are always university’s libraries which have not enough staff to make book lists. This is inconvenient for every library which wants to select the donated books.98 Centers of donated books are distance In China, almost all of the donated books are distributed through three centers which are libraries of Ocean University of China, Dalian Technology University and Tongji University. Our library is located in Zhuhai city Guangdong province. The nearest center – library of Tongji University is almost 2,000 km away from Zhuhai. Therefore, our librarians and faculty have to visit the centers to select materials just once each semester. Unsatisfied book selection Some of book selection is not satisfied. First reason may be time limited. Our library often needs to select 500 or 600 kinds of books in two or three days. Secondly, some staff is not good at English, especially in the specialized field. Thirdly, attitude may be according to unsatisfied book selection. How to get the donated books Some libraries have direct contact with foreign libraries. As a result, they can obtain the donated books easily. Most of them have no such solutions, so the Chinese center of Asia Foundation and Asian-US Bridge Foundation must be an easier and available choice. And the center is open to any library in China. When one want to get the donated books, just have to find a phone number of nearest center from internet, or other libraries. Then you can call the center for an appointment of selecting donated books. Next is easy, just by packing your luggage and going to the center by a train or by airplane. You can select anything you want in the book stacks. In addition to, you can login in the official websites of Foundations which are http://asiafoundation.org/ and http://www.bridge.org (www.google.com.hk) (Ming, 2010). Conclusion International book donation in China has been for 20 years which has brought important contributions for the development of higher education in China. According to statistics, after 1995 the average amount received from Asian-US Bridge Foundation is above 120,000 copies, and the biggest amount is 180,000 copies, the center of Ocean University of China (www.google.com.hk). More and more libraries benefit from the book donation, especially for small or private libraries such as our library. It shows that whole foreign language collection of some libraries is totally composed of donated books, such as Tianjin Polytechnic University, Wuhan University of Technology and Weifang Medical College (Ming, 2010). In a word, the practice of selecting donated books produces so many benefits, which really can stretch one’s budget of foreign language books by paying a little freight. Just do it.
  • 4. Reference Selecting foreignMing, Z. (2010), “Management of books donated by Asia Foundation and Asian-US Bridge language books Foundation”, Library Construction, No. 3, pp. 22-4.Further readingStaley, L. and Palo, E. (2010), “Extend one’s budget: buy used books”, The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 116-21. 99Corresponding authorJuan Wang can be contacted at: winnieee@126.comTo purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: reprints@emeraldinsight.comOr visit our web site for further details: www.emeraldinsight.com/reprints