Borders sets up way to replace Port Orchard Library’s stolen children’s books

Borders bookstore in Tacoma has teamed with the Port Orchard Library to encourage area residents to help replace some of the 1,300 children’s picture books that have been stolen from the library over the past two months.

“It’s unfortunate it had to be children’s books,” said Justin Butterfield, general manager of the Borders store. He said when he heard about the theft he contacted the library to see what Borders could do.

The Port Orchard librarian selected about 60 of the more popular books, and Borders set them up in a rack in the store, with a sign, “Help the Port Orchard Library.”

If customers want to buy and donate them, Borders will package them and send them to the library.

Butterfield said he hopes to open it up to all area Borders bookstores.

Port Orchard branch manager Kathleen Wilson said the stolen books represent nearly 20 percent of the branch’s collection of children’s picture books.

“It’s picture books, the heart of the library, sharing books with young children,” Wilson said. “This has a big impact on our collection.”

The theft was discovered as librarians over time had trouble finding books. Finally, the branch did an inventory of every title that should be on the shelves, crossed-checking them with books checked out, and the loss was confirmed.

Wilson thinks the bad economy led to the thefts. “There is a market for used books,” she said, adding that many of the missing books are newer ones and more valuable. She said no single author was targeted.

Butterfield said most of the replacement books for sale are $16.99.

“The community wanted to help out, and we thought maybe would could help them,” he said.

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or

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