Monday, June 24, 2013

TGMS book donation program

We recently delivered 10 cubic meters of duplicative geology and mining books and journals to Tucson geologist Peter Megaw [right].    Since 1983, Peter has run a program through the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society (501c-3 nonprofit) whereby books are donated to TGMS and then he arranges transport to Mexican Universities and the Mexican Geological Service, through Hermosillo.  TGMS gives the donor a donation document suitable for framing or filing with the IRS (donors are responsible for determining value, IRS regs do not allow TGMS to do so).

Generally the books go into a storage unit maintained by his company IMDEX Inc. and as staff members  come up from Hermosillo on various errands they take a pick-up load down at a time.  He calls it an "efficient and low-cost utilization of our normal back and forth traffic."  When the donation arrives in Hermosillo they have a "cascade" system whereby the donation is dropped with a particular University or the Mexican Geological Service offices, who takes what they need/want, then passes the remainder on to the next takes and so on.  If anything is left it is offered to faculty and students...but not much gets that far down the road.  Peter says they have developed a pretty good idea what each institution needs/wants to start the load cascading from the one that will benefit most from a particular load, which efficiently minimizes handling. 

Over the years he estimates they have shipped over 300 tons of books and journals (otherwise destined for the landfill) down south.  They directed a 7-pallet load of oceanographic data from UBC to La Paz and full runs of USGS Bulletins and Professional Papers to both the Mexican Geological Service and the Unison.  And they have also swelled the libraries of universities in Zacatecas and Chihuahua with broad collections of trade books and journals that they could never hope to afford. 

The latest load from AZGS came out of the merger with ADMMR.  We verified that we have copies in both our Phoenix and Tucson libraries and there was nothing not already in our state university libraries.  But the heavy emphasis on Arizona materials in the collection provides an opportunity to possibly fill in some gaps in the small but representative TGMS collection as well.

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