Friends of the Libraries Book Sale Returns

Chelsea Csuhran, front left, and Cassandra Fox, front right, peruse books at the Alden Library Book Sale on April 19, 2013. Ingo Trauschweizer, a professor of U.S. History, shops behind them.
Chelsea Csuhran, front left, and Cassandra Fox, front right, peruse books at the Friends of the Libraries 2013 Spring Semester book sale. Ingo Trauschweizer, a professor of U.S. History, shops behind them. (Photo by Lauren Pond/Ohio University Libraries)

On Thursday, November 14th, through Saturday, November 16th, the biannual Friends of the Libraries used book sale will take place at Alden Library’s fourth floor 1951 Lounge.

On Thursday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., eager shoppers can attend the special “preview sale,” which offers a first choice of books at doubled prices.

On Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 4 p.m., most books cost just a dollar. Some paperbacks sell for $.25, while more valuable items vary in price.

The selection is extensive. Art Woolley, English professor emeritus and volunteer chair of the Friends of the Libraries book sale, has spent weeks up in “the cage” of the seventh floor of Alden Library organizing piles of glossy books into easy-to-browse classifications. Sleek coffee table books, novels, antiqued volumes with gilded spines, cookbooks, DIY guides, and atlases bursting with colored photographs line the shelves.

All of these are sorted into categories such as fiction and poetry, political science, foreign language, children & youth, humanities, business, education, natural sciences and fine art.

Approximately 1,500 items were donated over the summer, including DVDs, books-on-audio-cassettes, VHS tapes and vintage videodiscs from the ‘80s. Many of the materials come from the personal and professional collections of retiring OHIO faculty, Woolley said.

Woolley is quick to credit donors and others who make the sale possible. Two OHIO School of Business organizations, CONNECT and Delta Sigma Pi, run the donations from the stacks to the fourth floor, and fourteen or so volunteers monitor the event.

Each sale, he said, attracts an average of 210 shoppers, yielding a total of three to four thousand dollars for the Libraries each year. The proceeds have funded a variety of causes, including student employee scholarships, the Friends of the Library study room, and skeleton models for the second floor learning commons.

But those contributions are just happy consequences of the main event: the celebration of books. Looking over the shelves of eclectic donations, Woolley’s admiration of the medium is palpable.

 “There’s an incredible variety of value,” he concluded. It’s a keen observation —monetarily speaking and otherwise.

Join us for the Friends of the Libraries book sale on Thursday, November 14th, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, November 15th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, November 16th from 10 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the fourth floor of Alden Library.