Used book sale this Friday and Saturday

Published 9:57 am Friday, April 17, 2015

Anyone looking for a good deal on books should visit the Friends of the Library spring book sale that will be held this weekend at the Elizabethton Parks and Rec Facility.

This will be the first of two sales the group will host this year. The biannual sales, conducted in the spring and fall, have been held for over 15 years and help to fund extra costs that are not covered in the budget for the Elizabethton Carter County Public Library, sale coordinator Lilo Duncan said.

Proceeds from the book sales have helped to provide library equipment, the tile flooring around the information desk, all the holiday decorations for the library, a rug for the children’s reading room, the ramp for the back entrance to the library, landscaping, a children’s computer station, children’s furniture, shelving and book bags for the Eli’s BRAY program, which took books from the library into county and city schools.

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The sale has also helped purchase the new book dropbox that is outside the library, more new shelving and bicycle racks for outside the library. The Friends of the Library also give money each year to the Carter County Imagination Library and to the downtown Holiday Lighting fund.

“The city gives quite a bit of money to the library,” Duncan said. “This allows them to buy the things they need but wouldn’t have been able to afford.”

Last year, the group raised approximately $6,000 for the library through the two sales. Duncan said that number keeps growing every year.

The books, which are donated to the group, are sold at $1 for a hardback book and 50 cents for paperback books — the same prices at the book sale for many years.

All the money the Friends of the Library earns goes back to the Elizabethton library in some way, Duncan said. In addition to purchases, the Friends allocate money for the children’s reading program. The allocation was recently increased to $500 from $200. The Friends also make a contribution to the Imagination Library.

The book sale offers between 10,000 and 12,000 books each year that are donated from various groups and individuals in the community. The books are on all topics and genres.

“We have a large variety of books,” Duncan said. “We have fiction, mystery, suspense, health, religion, sports, cookbooks. We have a good selection to choose from. We had so many books that we had to expand to two sales because one sale couldn’t hold them all. Many more people donate books to the sale every year. We are overwhelmed with all the books we have.”

The sales see a lot of repeat customers who take advantage of the varied selection and the low prices, Duncan said.

“A lot of people wait for these sales all year and use them as an opportunity to stock up,” Duncan said. “We have a lot of big purchases, and we would like to pick up some more customers this year. Business has never been slow and there has never been a lack of customers.”

The Friends of the Library receives a large amount of assistance from the Carter County Work Crew, Duncan said. The crew moves the books from the drop-off location at the library to the Friends’ storage unit throughout the year. They also help set up the books before the sale and help to clean-up afterward.

It takes the Friends and the crew almost two full days to completely prepare for the weekend sale. The group starts to set up on Wednesday morning and will work most of that day and all day Thursday.

“We don’t know how long it would take us to set up without the work crew,” Duncan said. “Without the boys, we wouldn’t be able to have the sale. They are so cooperative and work with us.”

The book sale is held in the Parks and Recreation building on Mill Street. The sale began on Thursday night from 6 to 8 p.m. for members and will be open to the general public starting on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Friends of the Library is always accepting new members. Dues are $10 a year. Interested individuals can get more information or join the Friends at the book sale.