Used book sales make a comeback from COVID

The Friends of the Library are happy to organize their annual used book sale again this year. The sale has been held on the last Saturday in May for almost 20 years.

The Friends of the Fort Frances Public Library is a group of volunteers who support the library by raising funds to help with programming expenses and for special projects at the library.

Laurel Halvorsen, chair of the Friends of the Library committee, said the end of May has been a good date for the sale, as it corresponds to people preparing to prepare their cabins for the summer season.

“A lot of people come because it’s summer and they can get their reading for their cabins,” Halvorsen said.

Fort Frances Public Library Technology Center CEO Joan MacLean has never participated in one of the sales before. MacLean started working at the library shortly before the pandemic hit and the sale hasn’t happened since.

“I never really experienced selling books because I got here in October and then COVID came in March,” MacLean said. “So we missed my first book sale, then the second, and finally this year we got it. So I’ve never experienced it, but I can’t wait to be there.

Willie Anderson, left, and Brian Harris attended the last book sale of 2019. The popular event returns from COVID and is scheduled for May 28. – Stock photo

The library also has a pretty big contribution to the sale this year. During COVID, library staff have taken the opportunity to remove books from shelves that have not been read in a while.

“We took advantage of the shutdown and did – what we call in the library business – ‘weeding out,’” MacLean said. “We’ve weeded the collection, removing anything that hasn’t been in circulation for the past five years and boxed them up and ready to put on tables and hopefully sell.”

The sale will fill the library with tables, MacLean says.

“I thought it was just in the Shaw Room,” MacLean said. “But the books invade the whole library. There are books everywhere, which is really exciting. It’s a very big sale.

People with books, CDs or DVDs they would like to donate can drop them off at the library from Tuesday of next week. Materials should be in good condition, not beaten. They also don’t want textbooks, encyclopedias, or other books that might contain outdated information.

The sale starts at 10am on Saturday May 28 and people are encouraged to show up as soon as possible to get the best selection.

Since the Friends of the Library is a charitable association, all books will be sold by donation at no fixed price. Buyers are encouraged to bring their own bags if they expect to buy a lot of books. The books will remain laid out in the library for the following week as well if people want to look but cannot make it to the sale on Saturday.

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