The Surplus Books Program is a feature of the Library of Congress in which books not in the facility’s usage for are provided other locations to utilize. The goal of this longstanding project is for the Library of Congress to extend its own services by transferring its extra books to organizations who apply for it. This project is strictly non-profit. Organizations apart of the program must send a representative to the Library of Congress to select the materials they would like in person.
Organizations eligible for this award must fall into distinct categories. One of the qualifications is being a public library. Malden Public Library became a recipient for this program on March 18th, 2017.
The event was a joyous occasion in which Malden was able to celebrate the success of the city’s library. Director of the Malden Public Library Dora St. Martin said that the MPL was “ honored to have Senator Edward Markey and Dr. Carla Hayden visit [their] library and [their] city”. During the visit, Senator Markey held a “storytime” for the young children after receiving a tour of the library.
Both Senator Markey and Dr. Carla Hayden held a speaking engagement attended by 200 librarians whose locations range from across the state. St. Martin said that “It was inspiring to hear Senator Markey [and] Dr. Hayden talk about how their own libraries helped them get to the positions they hold today”.
During his talk, Senator Markey explained how the “Malden Public Library [had] always been a special place for [him]”. He adds how he attended “reading hour” there as a child and went there to study as a college student. He explains that programs like the Surplus Books Program are important it enables libraries to with “computer and internet access, educational programming, and cultural opportunities that connect curious minds with new opportunities and horizons”.
The MPL’s chosen representatives to go Library of Congress and collect the books from the program were Senator Markey and Dr. Susan Blumenthal. There they were able to select “materials they felt were particularly appropriate for [the] community” says St. Martin. In total, the MPL received a vast amount of books for multiple age groups covering topics including technology, art, history, and storybooks for children.
All of the books and resources that MPL procured from the Library of Congress’ program will undoubtedly be proven beneficial to the library but one of the more prized items they received was a complete set from the series the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
for Presidents. The library received a full set of the papers written by George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, William Clinton, and Barack Obama. St. Martin explained how each of the Public Papers volumes included “the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during their term in office”. She adds that these particular documents will be “great resource for students wanting to work with primary materials on research papers”
By participating in the Surplus Books Program, the library will now be able to extend its services and provide its members with more resources to enhance their library experience.