Fri08292014

Community

Used-book sale raises funds for library


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community volunteer Darwin Poulos, right, sorts materials for the group’s upcoming used-book sale.

Biblophiles from around the Bay Area should be swooning this weekend when Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community hosts its quarterly used-book sale.

With approximately 30,000 books for sale in 25 categories, visitors will be swimming through stacks of titles as they peruse the offerings 6:30-9 p.m. Friday (members only), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave.

“The two heaviest periods for donations are summer and Christmas vacations,” said Elayne Dauber, Friends of the Library executive board president. “We are literally drowning in books.”

Children’s, teen and foreign-language books are the largest genres on hand, but the sale will also feature an abundant selection of fiction, science fiction and graphic novels, as well as CDs, DVDs, jigsaw puzzles, sheet music and games.

Dauber noted that shoppers can expect the unexpected. In the past, Friends of the Library has received donations that include a kimono, art prints and even a rare, out-of-print book that belonged to Stanford University. Stanford’s library personnel were “very happy to get it back,” Dauber said.

Nearly 25 percent of the books are sold within the first two days of the sale, according to Dauber, who recommended an early arrival for the best selection. The group limits Saturday sales to 15 books per shopper.

As the sale winds down on Sunday, shoppers can stock their bookshelves for $5 per bag.

To process the nearly 240,000 donated books the group receives annually, 60 Friends of the Library volunteers meet weekly year-round to sort and organize books for the sales. Dauber estimated that 100 volunteers are scheduled to work the summer sale.

Friends of the Library raises an average of $50,000 annually from its quarterly used-book sales to supplement the needs of the Los Altos Library. Proceeds support various programs and purchases for the best-seller collections at the library. The group intends to spend some of this year’s revenue to purchase a 3-D printer.

Visitors are encouraged to bring boxes or bags for storing their purchases.

All sales are cash only.

For more information, visit losaltoslibraryfriends.org.

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