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A California library has purged more than 172,000 books over the last two years to make way for new ones.

Many residents are upset because a lot of the books had little wear and were only four years old.

Cara Elness says she discovered 5 large trash bins full of books after the latest purge of about 100,000 titles.

Alameda books

“This is a wonderful biography of Willie Mays that was brought into the library in 2010,” Berkeley resident Dorothea Dorenz said, holding up one of the trashed booked at a special library council meeting.

“This is our collective history,” she said, according to ABC 7.

Some wondered why the books couldn’t be given to schools or families interested in reading them.

According to Alameda County Library director Carmen Martinez, they were “forced to make shelf space” after spending $3 million on new books.

“Some things have to go. They’re outdated, they’re worn out, a dog chewed them up, they have coffee stains,” she says.

The East Bay Express reported in March 2014 on a similar purge.

David Danby went to the library to check out a book and noticed the shelves only half full.

“I was taken aback,” Danby told the paper. “It feels uncomfortable, like something is missing. Where are all the books?”

Library administrators ordered a mass “weeding” of titles after an increase in funding.

Employees accused administrators of “carelessly discarding” books and just throwing them away when they could have been reused or given away.

“Everyone is amazed by the amount of stuff going to the garbage bins,” said Dan Hess, a children’s librarian at one of the Alameda County branches.

“It’s like forty years and forty different brains thinking what should be in the library [are being] swept away in two months,” he said.

“All you have left is the new. To me, that is not a library.”

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