Book Sales, Library Programming and You

Book sale set-up
If you are a regular Mercer County Library System user, chances are at some point you have encountered your local branch’s book sale. Outside of the larger sales that many branches hold during the year, your branch might also have an on-going sale. Have you ever paused to think about how these sales are run and how they benefit MCLS? You or your children may have attended one of the library’s programs. It could have been a book club, cooking program, storytime and craft or one of the many exercise-themed offerings. Or maybe you found yourself amongst a Halloween parade winding through the library, or grabbed a take-home craft to help keep idle hands busy on a winter evening. Ever given thought as to how these programs are funded and wondered how you could help support them?
Mozart at the Movies

MCLS book sales and programs are very strongly connected. All programming across the system is funded by each branch’s book sales. This is no small thing. In 2015, MCLS had over 6,300 programs with over 109,000 in attendance. Fees for performers, refreshments, film rights, and craft supplies, to name a few, were all made possible by proceeds from book sales. If you are interested in supporting MCLS programming in a great way, and maybe the best way, consider shopping at your branch’s book sales. There are always great deals to be had on thousands of titles in hardcover, paperback, fiction, non-fiction and children’s items. There are also DVDs, VHS cassettes and CDs for sale. You can expand your collections and know that the proceeds are directly benefiting your community.

Where do all of these books, DVDs and CDs come from? You, the community. Besides purchasing book sale items you can also donate items to be sold at a sale. These donations are the fuel for library programming and are tax deductible. Branches have local guidelines about what donations they accept and when, so if you are interested in donating materials contact your local branch ahead of time.

Who runs these sales? Most sales are run by Friends of the Library or other non-profit library support groups. These are all volunteer efforts. These groups are always looking for help around their respective sales. Sale books need to be sorted and straightened; book sales need to be staffed with helpful individuals. If you have an interest in helping your library with some volunteer work, contact your local branch and see what role you can fill. Chances are your local branch’s support group is looking for some help. Now all you need to know is when the book sales are. We have a webpage for that. There you’ll find all of the book sale dates for the current year.
Pete the Cat NYE Party

Book sales are extremely important in helping MCLS provide programming for both adults and children. The sales are a great partnership between library branches and their respective support groups. The sales are also wonderful partnerships with the community as the community donates the items to be sold, provides the staffing for organizing and running the sales, and purchases items from the sales. Next time you encounter a book sale or program at your local branch, you won’t have to pause to wonder how they are run, benefit MCLS, and are funded. You’ll know. The only pause you’ll have to give is if you want to peruse the titles or enjoy the program.

-James D.


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