1000 x 90

Friends of the Watauga Library Annual Book Sale Returns to Boone Mall This Weekend


By Jessica Isaacs

Still building your summer reading list? Pick up some good reads at great prices this weekend when Friends of the Watauga County Public Library annual book sale returns to the Boone Mall.

The three-day sale takes place Thursday through Saturday, offering a wide variety of books, audiobooks, CDS and DVDS covering a vast array of genres. Most hardbacks will be available at just $2 each, with 50 cents for most paperbacks, 50 cents for children’s hardbacks, 25 cents for children’s paperbacks and $1 for most DVDs, CDs, videos and audiobooks.

Library Sale 1
Friends of the Library annual book sale 2014

All proceeds will help the Friends organization support the Watauga library through book purchases and programs, including summer reading and children’s activities.

Friends President Suzanne Thompson said the event primarily aims to raise money, but getting more books into more hands in the community is an added bonus.

“It’s our biggest fundraising event that we do. The books have been donated to us,” Thompson said. “The public gets to buy these books at rock bottom prices. It’s great for families because kids get to pick out whatever they want for just a couple of bucks.”

Thompson said that classic novels are some of the most popular books at the sale every year, especially among high school students who can hold on to them for years to come.

The sale begins with a “members only” sneak preview event for the more than 400 people who are part of the Friends organization from 4-9 p.m. on Thursday. Want to support the library and become a Friend? You can get it on the early bird sale, too. Just stop by the event on Thursday and pay your $5 membership fee, or $10 per family, before shopping.

The sale opens to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Friends volunteers like Dick and Joan Hearn, longtime supporters of the library, will be available at the sale to help you make your choices, answer questions and help you carry books.

“These are great books. Most of them are used and some are new, but they’re all in excellent condition — we sort through every single one of them,” Dick said. “They’re all sorted into various categories. Just start browsing in the area of your interest and it’s a great place to fill up your library.”

The Hearns said many people choose to purchase books, read them and donate them back to the library so that they can continue making a difference.

Thompson said she chose to join the Friends organization and support the library so that she can share her love for reading with others.

“My mother and my grandmother would read to me and I learned to read before I went to school—it has always been a big part of my life,” Thompson said. “I just think that it’s important for it to be a big part of everybody else’s lives.”

Thompson said she believes the Watauga library is an asset to the community because it fosters an interest in reading among local residents, exposing children to books at an early age.

“People come here to use the computers and the Internet for job searches and get the reference desk to help them with a resume, and students come here to complete college applications. You can look into genealogy or do any kind of research,” Thompson said. “Sure, you can search for things at home, but it’s so much more hands-on to find these things in the library. It’s a community thing and I feel very strongly about that.”

The Hearns, who have been supporting the library for more than a decade, say they’re motivated to help make the library a great place to visit and stay.

“We have so many other things besides checking out books. The library gets some funding from government sources, but most of they have a problem securing funds for most of the activities — that’s the reason for Friends of the Library,” Dick said. “All the money we raise goes directly back into the library to help support various programs that aren’t funded. They’ve got 20,000 something card holders, so hundreds of people come in there every day because of what a wonderful place it is, and we want to keep it that way.”

Check out the library online to see what’s going on and to learn more.

Visit Friends of the Watauga County Public Library online to get involved or stop by the sale this weekend.