Friends of Library book sale draws crowd, raises $13,000

More than $13,000 was raised during the quarterly used book sale put on by the Blount County Friends of the Library on Jan. 20 - 22.

Phil Baker, manager of the Book Sale Committee, said members of Blount County Friends of the Library from as far away as North and South Carolina and Kentucky came in for the sale.

Those Friends got the first chance to buy books during a special pre-sale held on Thursday, Jan. 20. The next two days, the general public turned out to buy books.

“The book sale went real well. The public must have enjoyed it, because they bought a lot,” Baker said. “We raised $13,084.”

Baker said there are about 1,000 members of the Blount County Friends of the Library.

With more than $13,000 raised and the average book selling for $1 to $2, the math would suggest not only a great crowd, but a lot of books going home with eager readers, Baker said.

The Blount County Friends of the Library has a used book sale four times a year in the basement of the library. Most all of the books are donated to the sale. “Only 5 to 10 percent of the books are library discards and encyclopedias,” Baker said. “Ninety to 95 percent are donated by local residents, so we have great support from the community.”

Baker said the Blount County Friends of the Library used book sales help fund library programs that aren’t able to be funded through the library budget, which saves money for the cities and the county. The Friends help underwrite the costs of children’s programs in the summer, the adult reading program, the entertainment the library brings in for the Hot Summer Nights shows in July and August, the Shakespeare company that performs in late summer and all the speakers who come in during the year. “We support those programs because, while they enhance the experiences at the library, they are just too expensive for the county and cities to handle,” Baker said. “Everybody’s budget is being cut.”

The next book sale is scheduled for April 14-16. Membership is open for the Friends anytime.

“It is just a lot of fun. It is a great group to work with because everyone is really dedicated and supports the library,” Baker said. “The support this community gives the library is just outstanding.”

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