Library benefits from annual book sale

Published 2:38 am Sunday, January 14, 2007

By Staff
By MIKE VOSS, Contributing Editor
People say you can’t judge a book by its cover. When it comes to judging the annual book sale at Brown Library in Washington, it may be judged as a success story.
The sale returns to the Washington Civic Center Jan. 26-28, according to Lou Encinias, president of Friends of the Brown Library, which organizes the sale.
This year, more than 15,000 books, all in good condition, will be on sale, according to Patricia Rawls, a board member of Friends of the Brown Library. All books for the sale are donated to the Friends of the Brown Library. The group’s members will be moving books from storage areas to the Civic Center as part of preparations for the sale.
Rawls said there are several factors behind the annual sale’s growing success.
The sale begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Jan. 26-27. The sale resumes Jan. 28 with its “special bargain day” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A special “members-only night” has been scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 25 for members of Friends of the Brown Library.
The sale is one of the library’s major sources of income. The Friends of the Brown Library uses proceeds from the sale to assist the library with projects and purchases. More than $19,000 was raised by last year’s sale — $7,000 more than the goal.
Julie Hicks, director of Brown Library, said the money raised by the sale will be put to good use by the library.
The library counts on the revenue generated by the book sale to help it enhance library services and programs.
The book sale has been a Friends of the Brown Library project for about 15 years. It started as a way for the library to sell some of its books to make room for new books. The organization asked for area residents to donate books for the sale. Now, such donations far outnumber the library’s discarded books.
It’s not unusual for whole libraries, from people who are moving or who are deceased, to be donated to the project. Eventually, all donated books are sold. At the end of the sale, a dealer buys unsold books.
Beginning Jan. 22, more than 75 volunteers will move books, make preparations for the sale and work during the sale as cashiers or sorters. Volunteers do not have to be members of Friends of the Brown Library, but they are encouraged to join. Applications to join the organization may be obtained at the library.
Book prices depend upon the type of book being purchased. A paperback or children’s book goes for 25 cents. A softcover book sells for $1. A hardback book goes for $2. Some specialty books sell for more than $2 each. Encyclopedias, coffee-table books and other reference books are available.