Book sales, a sign of renewed life in neighborhood libraries

REGION – One of the missing events during the pandemic was the sale of library books, which serve as a fundraiser for many libraries in the region and groups of friends who support the programs.

It also deprived book lovers of the ability to browse donated books for their new purchases. With many people reading more during the pandemic, this may have been missed, especially until libraries implemented new borrowing mechanisms.

But book sales have been a key part of libraries and customers, who donate and then fill the empty spaces on their shelves.

“Books have an extra life for new owners and are passed on and resold many times over,” said Susan Scott, Director of the Holden Library.

Now, with libraries reopening, book sales are fulfilling their traditional role, albeit in different forms. Book sales have suffered, with some libraries not accepting donations and others only starting to do so. And the income that sales bring can be sorely missed.

As the world returns to more normal operations, many have scheduled book sales for the summer or fall. And donations are accepted by some.

One, the Princeton Public Library, has a regular sale through a stand at the Hunt and Gather Vintage Market, located at 194 Worcester Road in Princeton.

Kathy Packard, who works in stand maintenance, has the books collected from her garage and uses them to restock when customers shop at the small stand.

Since the library cannot store books in the basement of the building due to fire codes, the Packard Cabin and Garage fulfill this role.

“I’m collecting the books, and Heather and Steve (Bukovsky) gave us some free space,” Packard said.

“We could never have done that,” she said of the benefit that kiosk sales have in supporting the library. “That’s wonderful.” She said children’s books are “selling like crazy,” but a wide range of subjects and authors are available in the compact space, and it’s available whenever the market is open.

Stephen Bukovsky said that many who buy books from the library kiosk also donate extra funds to the library and the market does not charge any fees.


At Holden’s Gale Free Library, “we’re no longer selling books,” said library manager Susan Scott. “We have a bookstore called the Book Cellar located in the basement of the library” which is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 pm to 4 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to noon.

“We are not currently accepting donations,” said Scott. “Book Cellar volunteers are preparing the space so that we can take them in the near future.”

But sales help the library.

“The money generated from book sales supports library programming and the children’s summer reading program,” Scott said.

Since Scott spoke with The Landmark, donations have started to flow. La Cave aux livres des Amis accepts donations on Mondays only from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Although the Book Cellar is closed for book sales on Mondays, volunteer staff will be there to verify the resale value of all books and to accept those books.

The Friends noted their donation criteria: only books that are clean and free from stains and mold. They do not accept textbooks, encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers, VHS videos or CDs.


Friends of Richards Memorial in Paxton have resumed their plans for a book sale, scheduled for September 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Donations can be dropped off during library hours every Friday, but the group, as most do, does not ask for damaged magazines, manuals, encyclopedias, or books.

Approved safety guidelines will be used to make this event fun for the whole family while keeping safety a top concern, friends said.

“We generally plan our book fair and membership campaign together to help increase the chances that both encourage people to participate,” said Friends president Anita Fenton, noting the annual book fair, in addition to give buyers new books to read. typically earns between $ 2,500 and $ 3,000, which is used for library programs and equipment.

“We try to eliminate damaged books, multiple copies of books, obsolete technical, travel or medical books, and books that haven’t sold after a certain time, like five years or more,” Fenton said.

“We have also offered free book days for teachers, hospitals and senior citizens’ centers, and after the book fair, we schedule the sale of a large bag full of books at extremely low prices,” he said. she declared.


“Our friends usually have a big book sale in May, but haven’t been able to do so since 2019,” said Erin Redihan, director of the Princeton library.

“There are no plans to hold one this year, nor are we accepting donations at this time. They hope to have one in the spring of 2022, ”she said, noting there was not enough space to host a library-wide fair in the past.

“We are getting phone calls about donations and hope to be able to resume them in the future. However, without a solid plan for a book sale, we really don’t have the space to keep the books indefinitely, ”Redihan said.

“Donations are a great way to reuse books and earn money for libraries,” she said, and noted that the Friends group’s booth in the Hunt and Gather market “earned a sum of awesome money for friends, which they then use to support library programs. “

As the book sale has traditionally been the main fundraiser, “it has been a difficult year for the Friends because they have been so limited in what they can do.

The Friends host a Christmas concert every year, but this popular event had to be canceled in 2020 and plans for 2021 are uncertain.

“They buy all of the museum passes for our library, but a lot of the places they usually buy are still not open or taking passes. We also weren’t able to host any programs in person, which they also pay for. Having said that, things are looking better for Friends and libraries in general this summer, ”said Redihan. “We are very lucky with our group of friends here. “


“We have never stopped receiving donations,” said Kerry Remington, director of the Rutland library. “Our friends are responsible for the book sales. We plan to start organizing book sales again in July. During the summer, our book sales are usually on the last Wednesday of each month for the last two hours we are open, but we close at 6 p.m. for the summer, unless there is a change. important.

“So our plan is July 28 from 3 to 6 pm,” Remington said.

“Our group of friends supports a number of children’s programs throughout the year, and particularly during the summer. The money they receive from the sale of books is directly reinvested in community services. The Rutland Library has been accepting donations for as long as I’ve worked for the library, ”Remington said of his 27 years there.

“We think of donations as gifts because often donations end up on our shelves. We replace old or damaged books with replacement books, add books that are not on our shelves, and stock the book auction room with plenty of books. There are several non-profit organizations in the region that have benefited from our donations.

The library has been accepting donations for about six months and has plenty of DVDs, large print and non-fiction books that sell for 50 cents each, fill a bag for $ 5, according to Jean Wipf, secretary of Friends of the Rutland Library. The next sale of this type is Friday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“While we enjoy fundraising, it’s more important to bring the books to the public and support literacy. We have donated many children’s and youth books to Woodward School in Worcester to support their school library, ”said Wipf.


At the Sterling Public Library in Conant, “Book sales are not part of our fundraising,” said library director Patricia Campbell. “We are small and have no place to store books to sell or put them up for sale. “