Ask a Librarian

Tome Sweet Tome

Posted by btoren@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
July 30th, 2003

Charleston Gazette

“Most everybody responds to old books,” said Frances O’Brien, dean of West Virginia University’s libraries. “Any librarian will tell you that one of the most fun things we do is introduce people to old books. They can actually hold in their hands something that was around when Ben Franklin was alive.”

But is that dusty old tome actually worth something? Would-be collectors can find out Friday when old-book guru Jack Walsdorf brings his Book Lovers’ Road Show to the James Robinson Reading Room at WVU’s Charles C. Wise Jr. Library in Morgantown.

Read the rest of this entry »


‘Do you know what this book is worth?’

Posted by btoren@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
July 17th, 2003

CONTACT: Frances O’Brien, Dean, WVU Libraries, 304-293-4040, ext. 4000

Pick up an old book at a yard sale for 25 cents and think you found a treasure? Have a cherished volume your grandfather passed on to you? Curious what they’re worth?

If it’s a signed first-edition of Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, it could net up to $1,000. Other signed volumes by Papa Hemingway could fetch between $2,000 and $3,000.

Such a find is rare, hence the lofty price tag. But similar jewels can be found on bookshelves and in boxes everywhere. Just ask Jack Walsdorf, an antiquarian book appraiser and collector, when his traveling book show hits campus.

Read the rest of this entry »


WVU issues clarification regarding access, fees for libraries

Posted by btoren@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
July 2nd, 2003

CONTACT: Myra Lowe, University Librarian, 304-293-4040, ext. 4041

West Virginia University Libraries – including the new Downtown Library Complex – will remain free and open to the public, officials said Wednesday (July 2).

Recent news reports and headlines were somewhat misleading on this issue.

"While it is true that escalating costs for books, journals, subscriptions and access to online databases has forced the University to charge a $50 fee for residents and a $75 fee for non-residents to check out materials, individuals can and should feel free to just walk in and use our services and most materials at no charge," library officials said. Individuals also can use guest computers to access materials for free.

This new fee for a library card applies to the general public only. Students pay a $30 fee each semester as part of the University fee structure; faculty and staff are not charged a fee.