Post Office stops library from picking up books after revenue loss
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -
For the nearly seven years volunteers from Imagination Library of Montgomery County stopped by the post offices to pick up any books that were not able to be delivered to homes.
"The Postal Service was very nice and when they found an address that was incomplete or they had a book that was undeliverable they would save that for us," said Elizabeth Black who volunteers on the advisory board for Imagination Library of Montgomery.
Black said they send out over 5,000 books a month in Montgomery County alone and average 70 books which are not able to be delivered by the post office.
"They would keep those books for us in a bin and when the bin got full or once a month we would go and pick up those books."
Recently the post office stopped allowing Imagination Library volunteers from picking up those books at post offices across the state.
"If they are undeliverable right now they will be shredded," said Black.
"We are enforcing our policy," said David Walton, U.S. Postal Service Communications Director for Kentucky and Tennessee Districts.
"We are happy to be able to play a role in delivering these books to children but at the same time we cannot afford to provide our services for free."
Walton says the Postal Service does not receive any tax dollars and lost almost 16 billion dollars last year. He says once it was discovered the Imagination Library was retrieving books without paying any additional fees, they had to put their foot down.
"If we allow imagination library volunteers to retrieve these non-deliverable books at our offices, how fair is that to our customers who pay for that return service?"
The post office did not allow the volunteers to pick up the undeliverable books for February.
"It is pretty disappointing for Tennessee as a whole" said Black.
The Post Office says they are working with Imagination Library to find solutions to their addressing issues so the children's books do not end up being recycled instead of read.