Plans to sell off £30,000 of Barking and Dagenham library books

Books on shelves

Books on shelves - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The council could be set to sell off up to £30,000 worth of library books in measures to be discussed by Cabinet tonight.

Members will debate plans to profit from the disposal of surplus antique stock – much of it bought by the borough in the 1920s – which is now “gathering dust”.

Speaking at Barking Town Hall, council officers will explain how the books were initially purchased for reference use when the area’s library services were set up, but have become “less and less relevant” for library users.

No longer on display, although available to users on request, about 600 historic volumes could be sold through a dealer or at auction with the total profit going back into the borough’s library budget.

Although the books are all described as antique, any deemed to be relevant to the council’s museum collection policy have already been put aside for future heritage use.

Among the broad range of titles published between 1691 and 1982, the collection includes the likes of European and American carpets and rugs, Old English drinking glasses, their chronology and sequence, The stained glass of French churches and the works of Julius Caesar.

Members will also discuss Barking town centre’s housing strategy and plans to cut discretionary business rate relief to a number of organisations including three international aid charities, nine places of worship and five sports clubs. Check for our full report from the meeting.