By Ashley Rader
The United States Postal Service has delivered some bad news to the Carter County Imagination Library.
A change in national USPS policy that will require undelivered Imagination Library books to be shipped off for shredding will cost the local program books – and possibly on the bottom line.
The local Imagination Library received a letter from Theresa Carl, president of the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, about changes in the USPS’ policy on undeliverable items. Until recently, undeliverable books were returned to the Imagination Library under an old policy allowing undeliverable items to be recycled or given to a non-profit organization.
The revised Postal Service policy requires local post offices to recycle or destroy any item undeliverable due to bad addresses.
Carl’s letter said the ruling from the USPS states “The disposal of these items as waste will simplify handling procedures and reduce costs.”
CCIL board member Joyce White said the books cannot be returned to the library because they do not have return addresses. First-class mail with return addresses can be returned to their sender; the books are shipped at a lower class rate to save money, and cannot be returned to the individual libraries that send them out.
Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library Children’s Librarian and board secretary Ashlee Williams emphasized the decision was not made by the local post offices.