“I think it’s more relevant than ever.”
Sara Hightower Regional Library Director Delana Sissel fully understands that libraries are morphing in today’s electronic world. “People are coming here to learn something new, whether they find it in a book, in a program or on the computer.”
The library may be busier than usual from this Saturday through Saturday, Sept. 14, as the Friends of the Library hosts its annual used book sale.
Ruth Forrester with the Friends of the Library estimates that well over 10,000 books will be available for sale. Saturday is the Preview Sale for members of the Friends of the Library. Non-members of the Friends organization can purchase tickets to shop that day for $5 per person. Children who come with a parent will get in free on Preview Day. Preview Day will run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The following week, admission to the sale, which has filled the meeting rooms of the library, is free. The sale will be open Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Sept. 9 through 12 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 the sale will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Hardback books generally sell for $1, though some may range as high as $3. Books in the Special Collections section may sell at a slightly higher rate.
Forrester said the overwhelming majority of the books that are in the sale were actually donated to the library by patrons.
“We’re so fortunate that a lot of people are still reading an honest-to-goodness book and donating them,” Forrester said. She estimated that no more than 10% of the items are actual library discards. “We have a great selection of large print library discards and books on CD this year,” Forrester said.
She said the newer used books generally go into the Used Book Store within the library. Sale items includes books that are in good shape, not musty or wet.
Aside from books, magazines, CDs, videos, and even vinyl recordings are available.
“After doing this for so many years, just seeing the faces of people when they find something that maybe they’ve been looking for, that’s the important thing. Putting the books in the hands of the people of the community,” said Forrester.
Sissel said in the past year, the Rome branch of the library circulated more than 300,000 items. Rockmart and Cedartown each circulated between 75,000 and 80,000 items, while the Cave Spring branch of the library circulated over 15,300 items. Close to a third of the material that was circulated was considered children’s material.
“One of the things we do is help disseminate information,” Sissel said. “We still have patrons of all ages come in. We try to meet the needs of everybody in our community and are more of a community center nowadays. People come to libraries for a lot of different reasons.”
All of the proceeds from the used book sale will be used to acquire new material for the library.