A 1972 set of encyclopedias and a Ronald Reagan biography dating to when he was governor of California are two examples of the outdated and damaged books being removed from the Queen Creek Elementary School library.
The books will eventually be used to help Queen Creek area adult and student English language learners with their reading skills.
About 500 books have been removed from the library so far, and Amy Pritts, the school's new librarian, is only halfway through the purge.
"We're going through every shelf and trying to really make sure we have what we need on the shelf," principal Sheri Horton said. "We're making sure we have books with accurate information. We have a lot of donated books, and some were extremely old and not real accurate in their information."
The books are being replaced with $14,000 worth of new library books, many of them hard library-bound copies with lifetime warranties.
"It's such a cleaner look and easier for the kids to go through," Pritts said. "Ultimately, I would love to have the library filled with those hard-bound editions."
The library's newest editions include two sets of 2007-08 encyclopedias, and a full set of the ever-popular "Harry Potter," "Junie B. Jones" and "Magic Treehouse" series books.
The students also have a replenished reference section, including new historical fiction and updated books on the states and planets.
"The kids are very excited every time we get a shipment of new books," Horton said. "They're ready to go to the library and check out the new books. Through this process it has really encouraged the kids to pick up a book and read."
Queen Creek Elementary has one of the largest library collections in the Queen Creek Unified School District. It's also the district's oldest elementary school, opening in 1985, said Candy Cooley, director of facilities.
The district regularly sells old textbooks to a company, but old "library books don't have any value," Cooley said.
The removed books that weren't too damaged will be put to good use. They've been given to the district's migrant education and adult education programs.
Maria Silva, district migrant education director who oversees the two programs, said she will distribute the books through a free book fair in the adult education classes taught daily on the campus of Queen Creek Middle School.
She also will send books home through the home-based migrant family program.
"It will help the students and their parents," Silva said. "A lot of them don't have books at home. This will enhance their literacy."
The district has 175 migrant students and 163 active adult education students. The adult education students are 16 and older, and teachers in the program teach them English and help them earn their GEDs.