How Does Your Public Library Stack Up?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by kaparthy, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. kaparthy

    kaparthy Well-Known Member

    Most public libraries are weak on numismatics. Librarians buy the books that library magazines recommend and they simply do not understand the hobby as we do.

    The Ann Arbor Public Library has 34 titles, mostly Krause Standard Catalogs and recent Red Books. They also have one book by Martin J. Price, Coins: An Illustrated Survey 650 BC to the Present Day and the old two-volume Zander Klawans set on Greeks and Romans. They also have some kids books.

    They have 14 titles on paper money. Again, most are common price guides, but two are worth noting: Eric P. Newman's Early American Paper Money and The Art of Money by David Standish.

    Note that according to the Dewey Decimal system, coins are 737 and paper money is 769. They are catalogued with recreations and games, near making paper doilies and collecting baseball cards.

    My university library is somewhat better, having Breen, Taxay and Sylvester Crosby, and Kraay's Greek Coins, as well as federal publications. They also shelf half a dozen master's theses on metallic content of 3rd Century Roman coppers, apparently a trend in the chemistry department at one time.

    Note that according to the Library of Congress system, coins are CJ near calendars and inscriptions, while banknotes and paper money are HG with banking and commerce.
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  3. stealer

    stealer Roller of Coins

    My local library has a couple red books, (2005, '08, '09, '10, '11) and blue books ('09, '10, '11[reference!])

    It also has the 2008(?) Photograde book, Accugrade book on Morgan and Peace dollars, Silver dollars of the United States (Volumes 1&2) and a wide range of other numismatically related books. To be fair it is a large library.
  4. 10gary22

    10gary22 Junior Member

    Before I purchased the Cherrypickers' Guides Vols 1&11, I ran an online check of our library data base. There were 3-4 books total. I didn't even bother because this wasn't what I was looking for, but information seemed to be outdated and scant.

  5. playin4funami

    playin4funami Junior Member

    My local library is a joke in the numastic feild, they have one kids book printed in the 1970's, that's it! Fortunately I have aquired a large reference library of my own over the years that has become a collection in it's own right. coins,comics,baseball cards, mineral collecting and hunting, geology, treasure hunting, and a whole list of crazy hobbies!
  6. blsmothermon

    blsmothermon Member

    My local library is typical to most, outdated World Coins phonebooks, Red Book, etc. But for some reason they have a copy of California Fractional Gold by David Doering 2nd Ed. This is an out-of-print $230 (on eBay) book! Makes me wonder who the local specialist collector is that resulted in them having this book.
  7. desertgem

    desertgem Senior Errer Collecktor Supporter

    My library had the normal Krause, Redbook, and the like, but also Overton's half dollar book, and several other classics.

    Sad to say, there was heavy structural damage in the 7.4 earthquake here on Easter, and it is condemned, but no public money
    to do so , or replace it. Our country has 30.1% unemployment currently,so it will be a long wait, if the Feds don't lend a hand.

  8. Pocket Change

    Pocket Change Coin Collector

    Our library has a lot of material besides the standard price guides. Most was donated by the local coin club - that's something you guys may want to think about.

    Same goes for the stamp collecting material.

    Don't have to wait for the librarians to pick it!
  9. Pilkenton

    Pilkenton almost uncirculated

    Our library has quite a few books, but they are all outdated. The newest is a 2004 Red Book.
  10. PoorJake

    PoorJake Junior Member

    My local library has a pretty weak selection of coin books but they do have a subscription to Coinworld which is pretty sweet.
  11. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    The Old Fort Coin Club of Fort Wayne IN participates in the Central States Matching funds program for numismatic books. If we buy numismatic books for the public or school libraries they would match our funds up to $500. So we appropriate $500 and get their $500 and provide $1000 worth of books to the libraries.
  12. coinmaster1

    coinmaster1 Active Member

    Lucky! My library, the Greece Public Library, has like 7 or 8 books on numismatics, all outdated! The newest blue book is from 2003 and the newest red book is 2002!!! You guys have awesome books! I wish my library had the Cherrypicker's Guide...
  13. Duke Kavanaugh

    Duke Kavanaugh The Big Coin Hunter

    Do I have a local library here? ;)
  14. Byron L Reed

    Byron L Reed Junior Member

    Some years back I lead a drive to get a very nice representation of references that could be used indefinitely for my then-local and state library. Since then, the state library has gotten out of the individual patron book biz and the local sold some of their at the "friends of the library" sale for a buck.

    Never again.
  15. kaparthy

    kaparthy Well-Known Member

    Right. When I lived in Livingston County, Michigan, the LCCC worked with the library to shelve circulating and reference books: Bowers, Breen, a lot of good ones. Realize though that we had a local "in" in that one of our founders was one of theirs, so we donated the books in his name with that inside. We also worked with 10 or 20 middle schools to put current Red Books in their libraries and did that at least two years, maybe three.

    Usually, librarians do not like outside interference because that opens the doors to religious tracts, flat earth, and all that. And you have no control over a different large organization leading to the betrayal noted above by Byron Reed.

    So, if your local club wants to help your local library, make sure you have your ducks in a row.
  16. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Like most others, my local libraries used to contain virtually nothing. However, don't forget inter-library loan. You can access many large university libraries this way.

    I chose to participate in the inter-library loan with my own books. Not surprisingly almost all requests to borrow my books were from universities. Don't forget to try inter-library loan if you really want to use a book. There are private collectors like us, as well as universities, that do have these books.
  17. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Great point. I have heard many coin clubs have a local dealer host the clubs library. It works out for the dealer having additional traffic, and it works for the club having an easily accessed outlet source to help new collectors.
  18. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    We have several branches out here, for the most part good books and they are
    Kept updated!!
  19. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    As frustating as that can be for those who are trying to keep numismatic books on the shelves, those Friends of the Library can be helpful for a collector looking for books for his own library. That's how I got my 1947 Redbook, and just recently I picked up Specious Tokens by R C Bell from the Friends of the El Paso Library for $20. It's a $150 - $180 book. And it had NEVER been opened. It still had the tipped in price sheet in it.
  20. CheetahCats

    CheetahCats Colonial & Early American

    Local libraries here are scant. However, I do have a Reader ID Card via work which allows me access to the Library of Congress downtown. Going over there is a pain, so I've only pulled a few books while already over on business.
  21. hiho

    hiho off to work we go

    My town has three local libraries and the main branch has a very complete reference section that includes many numismatic books. If they don't have something and you ask nicely they usually will order it.

    I don't even mind paying taxes for something this useful.
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