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Polk County Public Schools reopens surplus bookstore offering free books to the public

Posted at 2:07 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 17:35:05-05

BARTOW, Fla. — A long-time running surplus bookstore will open back up in Polk County on Thursday.

After being closed for reorganizing, Polk County Public School’s textbook warehouse opens at 8 a.m. Jan. 30.

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The warehouse is home to up to 15,000 used books which have been expired or overused in schools.

“The warehouse brings the used curriculum, textbooks, library material here,” said Delvin Reed, the Sr. Manager of distribution at PCPS.

Many of the books Reed showed ABC Action News seemed to be brand new. However, he says the average life span of a textbook is 5-8 years. He explained many of them had just expired or were overstock.

Instead of throwing away or recycling right away, Polk Schools offers the books to the public at no charge. It's something Reed says few counties are doing right now.

The range of books offered is broad, beginning at the preschool level and going all the way up through high school. The textbooks cover many different subjects like English, math, chemistry, etc.

Reed says the warehouse was in desperate need of reorganizing, showing us pictures of how the property used to look. Books were lying everywhere, causing concern for both Reed and the school system.

“There was just some safety issues we need to address,” Reed said.

While the warehouse was closed for four months, new doors were installed, air conditioning was updated, and of course, safety issues were fixed.

We wanted it to be a clean, organized and inviting place for the general public to come and browse through our selection. Throughout the years, the Surplus Textbook Warehouse has been a valuable resource for teachers, parents and students to obtain study materials at no cost. We look forward to showing off our newly updated warehouse and current selection of books, and will continue to restock the shelves as books are retired from our schools.
said Scott Reeves, PCPS’ senior coordinator of support services.

The surplus bookstore officially reopens at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Those interested can show up to 965 State Road E. in Bartow, FL.

The facility will be open to the public every Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The warehouse will be closed from 11:30 a.m. to noon for lunch.