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Pulped fiction – libraries shred old books

THOUSANDS of books by bestselling authors are pulped by Dublin libraries every year.

Dublin City Council has sent about 2,000 books for recycling this year so far, while Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council shredded 2,700 last year.

The local authorities insist the copies are damaged beyond repair so they cannot be offered to community organisations.

"Dublin city public libraries, like all libraries, need to dispose of books from time to time because the books are no longer in good enough condition, because they are no longer relevant or because – in the case of non- fiction – they are out of date," a city council spokesman said.



Dun Laoghaire council told the Herald some books are too damaged to keep.

"A proportion of books cannot be retrieved/used elsewhere if they are waterlogged, spine-damaged or out of date," a spokeswoman said.

"During 2012, we had 2,700 books pulped by (waste company) Panda.

"We have ceased our relationship with Panda and hope to work with companies such as Better World Books for 2013 so that as much use as possible can be made out of our worn-out books," she added.

Fingal Council says it destroys on a "very small percentage" of their old books.

The city council told the Herald that copies in good condition are offered to schools, community childcare facilities and homeless support groups.