Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Library fund-raisers

Every county library in the US has a volunteer group involved in fund-raising through donated book sales. At each library the group runs a used books counter from where you can pick up a book for 50 cents or a dollar (for hardcover).Once a quarter they hold book-sales on a bigger scale.The Friends of San Ramon Library, a registered volunteer group, held a two-day weekend sales last month.

On the first day the books set up on tables under various categories - fiction, biography, non-fiction, business, self-help books, children's books - were available for a dollar or less. On the second day one could pick up a bagful for $2. Sales organisers supply the bags, each of which can hold 10 to 15 books, depending on the paperback/hardcover mix of your choice.

I packed into my bag, Erickson's Gandhi's Truth, H G Wells' The Time Machine, a biography of Robbin Williams, Art Buckwald's last work, Too Soon to Say Goodbye, Bob Woodward's book on Watergate's 'Deep Throat' and some other titles, all for two dollars.

At San Francisco the annual book sale sponsored by Friends of San Francisco Public Library is a major event. The 2007 sales raised over $250,000 for the library programs. According to the organisers, the books were deonated by residents and
businesses; and some 350 volunteers worked at the big annual sale held at Fort Mason Center. The yearly event is in addition to the monthly book sales held on the frontyard of the San Francisco city library.

The 2008 sale, due late September, will be a five-day affair. Organisers say more than 300,000 books would be available for $5 or less each. On Sunday (final day) the price would drop to a dollar or less per book. Besides books, they say, audio books, CDs DVDs, tapes and vintage vinyl records would be up for the grab.

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