Last fall one of my librarians said to me “We have a problem”, of course my first thought was a leak, a shelving unit collapsed, some one was stuck in the elevator, or a hundred other things than what she was about to tell me. “We have nearly $900 in stamps.” she said, to which I replied “WHAT?” I as simply dumbfounded. How could we have $900 in stamps? Where have them been and why is this the first I am learning about them? After a litany of questions all I could do was laugh. No sense getting upset about it, doing that wasn’t going to solve the problem.
How did we get $900 in stamps? Well it didn’t happen over night I can tell you that. You see at one time when a library would put out offers lists of duplicate journals, or ones being removed from a collection, the library that wanted the item would have to pay the postage. Instead of sending a check the library would send the cost of the mailing in postage stamps. The next time a package went out those stamps should have been used. For whatever reason this didn’t happen here, so we ended up with a collection of stamps. We had stamps from 1 cent to $5, it really was something to see.
Now we all know that less and less mail is being sent these days, so my problem was to figure out how we could use as many of these stamps as quickly as possible. Fortunately, we are part of a University and mailings leave here all the time. I contacted the mail room to see if they could help and they did. We were able to put over $550 worth of stamps on packages about to go out. In turn the library was able to get that money back in our budget.
For those who are quick with numbers you will have figured out that I still had $300 to deal with, so what happened with those? Well fortunately a number of the stamps were Forever stamps, so those we are using on letters as we need to. The rest of the stamps we are slowly using on our ILL packages. Hopefully, by the end of the summer we will have brought the stamp problem to a conclusion.