‘Friends of the Library’ are Friends Indeed

Book lovers turned out en masse last Saturday morning looking to add a few new titles to their personal collections. On what was an absolutely flawless Spring morning, I was just one of many local bibliophiles who opted out of the brilliant sunshine for a little stint of shopping on the lower level of the Baldwin Public Library.

We all need friends, but no one does it quite like Baldwin’s Friends of the Library when it comes to their Semi-Annual Used Book Sale. The excitement was palpable as book enthusiasts eagerly thumbed, browsed, and flipped through more than 10,000 books looking for literary treasures. Be it novel, cookbook, movie, or music, the Friends had it all broken down and categorized into tight, tidy sections allowing patrons the opportunity to snag prime hardcovers and paperbacks for just a few bucks a book.

With library funds dwindling, bookstores closing, and the surge of e-books, many avid readers are now looking toward used book sales as a way to stockpile their reading stash while also contributing to a great cause. Friends of the Library treasurer Joe Wolf expected some 600-700 book buyers to move through Baldwin during the weekend’s Spring sale, and said the 2010 Fall sale made about $13,000.

In our tight economy, the Friends of the Library play an integral role in financing library programs, above and beyond the library’s budget. All proceeds from the Friends’ sales go directly to library programs and materials. Author visits, summer reading programs, movie screenings, and Everyone’s Reading  programs are just a sampling of the extended list of gifts the Friends provide. Simply stated by one of Baldwin’s librarians, “We couldn’t do it without them.”

If you’re looking to contribute on either end, the next used book sale will take place in November. The Friends accept books, CDs, DVDs, and GameBoys in excellent to good condition. If you have donations, you can leave them on the shelves by the elevator doors on Baldwin’s main floor. Tax receipts for donations can also be requested at the Circulation Desk.

If you can’t wait until November for the next big used book sale, you might want to check out Bookstock in Livonia next week. All proceeds benefit literacy and education initiatives for our local communities.

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

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