Sometimes people call me to ask whether they should call me before they drop off books. Setting aside the philosophical problem of calling to ask permission to call, I do understand the question. So I have compiled a variety of situations which might arise.
If you are not sure whether the library will be open when you want to bring books: Yes, definitely. Nothing worse than coming all this way for nothing.
If you have two or three bags and want to drop them off: No call is necessary; if we’re open, we’re set to receive books.
If you have two or three boxes: No real need to call for these, either. In fact, if you don’t need help unloading or don’t care about the receipt you can make a hit-and-run donation and I may never see your face (if you’re really that ashamed of all those issues of Barbie Collector, though, maybe you should mail them in.)
If you have more than ten boxes: It would be NICE if you called ahead. I may have to clear some space.
If you have five banana boxes full of books: Don’t call ahead. You’re just trying to be funny. Try harder.
If you have boxes in the car but need help unloading: It would probably be easier if you called ahead. There’s USUALLY someone who can come give you a hand with that Encyclopaedia Britannica in its own bookcase but if you call ahead we can plan for it
If you’re not sure whether we accept what you have to donate: Yes, call. Chances are we DO take it, but better get our opinion of the Encyclopedia of Banana Box Collectibles before you load all sixty volumes in the car.
If you have books that you want to go to the attention of a particular curator: DO call ahead. If someone who doesn’t know about it helps you unload, the books could get mixed in with the others.
If you have more than seventy boxes of books left over from your garage sale, and they’re kind of all jumbled together because you thought about tidying them but then thought why bother and one of your customers spilled his coffee but only on the box of records and the coffee must have had cream and sugar in it but you got most of the ants scraped off and you’re not sure why the dog was sniffing that box full of paperbacks: PLEASE CALL AHEAD. It gives me time to get the gate locked and the lights turned off.