Watchdog group claims Alameda Co. libraries discarded nearly 400,000 books

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - An Alameda County watchdog group claims hundreds of thousands of library books were discarded in last two years.

Dorothea Dorenz is a retired art teacher and an avid reader. The 67-year-old is also a member of a group called the Library Book Savers of Alameda County.

The group says it believes the county's 10 library branches have discarded close to 400,000 books from its shelves in the last two years. "I'm horrified that the people who are supposed to be in charge of our legacy of knowledge don't care."

Dorenz played KTVU a video that she says was recorded last month outside the Fremont Main Branch by an anonymous employee.

The video allegedly shows a woman tossing dozens of books into a large bin. "We pay our taxes to buy those books," said Dorenz. "They're taking away older books from us."

Alameda County library administration officials were not available for comment.

The president of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Scott Haggerty, told KTVU there's currently a moratorium on book disposals until a new discard policy is approved by the county. He said that vote could take place as early as next month.

Dorenz says the policy should include public input on what books should be discarded. She says books, no matter how old or damaged, should remain in the stacks.