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Just three aisles of books in a room it would take about 30 seconds to walk through yet you could spend an hour or more browsing the shelves and probably find something you just have to have.
And at prices up to about $5, even for hardbacks, a book lover will almost certainly come away with an addition to his or her collection.
The most amazing thing about the Serendipity bookstore, upstairs at the Humboldt County (CA) Public Library, however, is the milestone it reached on Jan. 6: Seven years and two months after it opened, Serendipity's total sales reached $200,000. That's an average of more than $28,700 per year. It is manned completely by volunteers, including the woman who gave birth to the idea Frances Rapin, still an active friend. More from the Times-Standard.
Here's a letter to the Friends of the Library USA--If you have suggestions for this librarian/friend, I will pass them on...
I am new to the (FOLUSA) list. I have some questions and I need advice!
I am a Reference Librarian at a small public library in Ohio. I am also helping out our Friends of the Library organization. We have a very small and inactive Friends group and are working on getting it started up again.
I have volunteered to help sort books in our Friends'Room.It is a disaster! We have books everywhere! Some are in poor condition and will be pitched soon. The librarians on staff (including me) have been instructed to continue weeding to make room for a planned renovation this spring.
We will have 2 Friends' Book Sales- one in May and one in Sept. We need to make room for future donations and the weeded books.
My questions are 1) What do your groups do with the overflow of books? (throw them away? give them away?)
2) Are there limitations to what can be done with the books? We are not allowed (by state law) to give away books the library has weeded. They are considered state property and cannot be given away. Why? I don't know. 3) If your group throws the books away, how do you dispose of them so the "public" doesn't perceive you are wasting tax payer dollars?
Any ideas about what to do with all the extra books?
We have some but are looking for other venues as well.
Thank you in advance
Ohio Public Library Friend!
An Anonymous Patron writes "The Friends group at the Carol Stream (IL) Public Library has set up their own blog. Right now, they're trying to get the word out regarding the library's upcoming referendum.
Rather than let an era of erudition be replaced by run-of-the-mill retail, the library leased the space that once housed Good Times and plans to continue a treasured tradition in tomes. By June, the now-bookless bookshop and its creaky floorboards will be resurrected as a library-run, library-funded bookstore and young adult information station. More from The New York Daily News.
I'm passing along a request I read on my discussion board for Friends of the Library USA...John Gear writes to FOLUSA :
I'm with the Friends of Lansing Libraries (Lansing, MI).
We're considering underwriting with our local NPR affiliate in return for acknowledgments. We can't afford their regular rotation schedules, so I thought that maybe we could get some extra mileage out of fewer spots by placing them on key dates in library history, such as the day that Franklin's library was founded in Philadelphia, etc. etc. etc.
Problem is, I'm having a hard time finding such a list. Does anyone have one or know of a good pointer to where I might find such a thing?
Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA) informs us, "There's still time to tell us how "Libraries Transform Communities" for a chance to win $1,000 for your library! Entries are due January 2, 2007. Get the word out to your members and patrons today!" Contest rules here..., the first one being "no purchase necessary!"
From Gainesville.com (FL), a report on how some devoted library friends and volunteers, many between the ages of 60 and 85, are turned off by new drug testing requirements. Opinions are offered and invited at the Impromptu Librarian Blog.
Bookmans (used books and media) in Tucson and other AZ locations have 80,000 popular fiction titles in their warehouse -- more than they can sell. They are willing to donate these books to a Friends group (or, perhaps, more than one), and perhaps even share the cost of shipping. If your Friends group would be interested in these books, please contact Sheila at 520-881-1744 x112 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raising money is getting tougher and tougher for libraries...here's a feel-good story about how the Columbus (GA) Library has added to its coffers through a generous donation by a local couple, some good planning by administrators and the tireless work of volunteers. The Library Store has just celebrated its first anniversary.
"We are grateful to the public for their donations and support," said retired educator Alice Budge, who heads Friends of Libraries here, and who works part-time in the store. She and her husband, former Ledger-Enquirer Publisher John Greenman, made a donation to the Muscogee County Library Foundation to establish the store in the new public library off Macon Road.
Eugene, OR is having its 28th annual Friends of the Library Booksale, and like most large FOL sales, it's a hectic business at best, a battleground at worst.
Register Guard describes the tension mounting as the opening moment approaches: "See the buyers, some who'd waited all night, clutching empty cardboard boxes, plastic bins, duffel bags and rolling suitcases, waiting eagerly as the minutes tick closer to the appointed hour. Watch as the doors open at 8:55 a.m., and the book lovers and dealers come rushing in, running to the book-laden tables, as a volunteer yells, unheeded, "Don't run! Don't run! Don't run!"
Step aside as buyers swarm the neatly stacked books, grabbing handfuls without checking titles, shoving them into boxes, then skidding them along the smooth concrete floor to designated holding areas. Then doing it all over again."
It's a huge amount of work for the Friends, sometimes resulting in a significant profit for the library, sometimes not. Used book dealers are usually welcome, though are often looked at with a jaundiced eye.