Throwing out usable books and cutting staff, and hiring more non-librarians to buy more digitized collections is foolish. Information IS NOT FREE, whether it appears on your Kindle, your computer, or your paperback. There are many people, children and adults, who would have been delighted to have these books. And if the county isn’t allow to give away its own property, then the Friends of the Library should have sold them for a reduced price to get back some of the tax payer money.
For years, the public and librarians were told computerization/digitization would save money. That hasn’t happened. It has just replaced library staff with IT staff and constant upgrading of equipment, software and contracts with book bundlers. Also, digitized books/documents are easily edited with no one knowing--the earlier version is just gone. I recall looking something up a few years back in an e-encyclopedia at the public library only to discover the horrors of the Soviet Union had virtually disappeared.
Dumpster diving for books at Chantilly technical operations center in a Washington, DC’s affluent suburbs. (Median family income in Fairfax Co. is about $120,000) Photo by Linda Smyth.