Habeas Libris: For Books in Need of a Reprieve
5 Journal of Law 1 (2015)
10 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2015 Last revised: 17 Sep 2015
Date Written: July 20, 2015
Habeas Libris is a website (www.habeaslibris.com) dedicated to the salvation of books – old-fashioned, ink-on-paper books. The thinking behind the website is based on four simple observations about law libraries and law librarians: (1) they are reducing their print collections; (2) they are having a hard time finding buyers – or even takers – for the books they cannot keep; (3) they would rather give away than throw away their unwanted and unmarketable books; and (4) they lack a truly cheap and easy way to offer their unmarketable books to anyone who might want them. Habeas Libris aspires to be that cheap and easy way for law libraries to give away those surplus books. In addition, in this time of much re-ordering of priorities and re-tasking of facilities, and not so much re-shelving of books, Habeas Libris also aspires to provide book-loving librarians some small consolation that they have done everything they reasonably can before they consign any books to the dumpster – including offering their surplus books to the whole web-connected world for free. This article briefly puts the current circumstances of surplus law books in context, and then explains how Habeas Libris works.
Keywords: American Association of Law Libraries, acquisition, collection development, deaccession, disposal, law books, law librarianship
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