Big Book Sale Marks Celebration

Thursday, October 20, 2016, 3:54 pm
By: 
Sheila Taylor

For Friends of the East Lansing Public Library (FOELPL), the Big Book Sale this coming weekend at the library is cause for celebration.

FOELPL is celebrating first of all their return to full operation at the East Lansing Public Library after a year of renovation which curbed processing and ongoing sale of used books at the facility. Nonetheless, they maintained their Friendshop's used book sales from carts and little nooks in the Library, and patrons could count on finding quality books at great prices whenever they stopped by. FOELPL credits Library staff for accommodating and assisting them to keep things going through the challenging past twelve months.

Up to the moment someone discovers a great buy from the Friendshop, FOELPL volunteers spend more time and do more work to process books than the public can imagine. They process every book donated to the Library--tens of thousands of books a year--eliminating those in unsalable condition, identifying rare books for special handling, refreshing books offered in the Friendshop daily, and sorting and storing for the annual Big Book sale.

Through the renovation, which concentrated Library business first into one side of the building then the other, and two separate months when the Library was closed altogether, FOELPL never stopped processing books. At times volunteers picked up donated books from people's homes, and for the entire summer they processed books at a volunteer's home and stored dozens of boxes of books in her garage. These will be taken to the Library for the Big Book Sale. Buyers can expect the same number, quality, and range of books this year as the Big Book Sale has long been known for.

The second reason for celebration is that FOELPL now has its own true "shop" at the renovated library. This Friendshop is a room to the west (left) just beyond the main entryway, across from the checkout desk. With more square footage and shelves, the Friendshop will be a pleasant space for patrons to browse and discover some book they've always wanted, or didn't know they had to have. Book bags, framed art, and other items will be also be available at the Friendshop from time to time.

Prior to renovation, FOELPL took in $3000-$5000 monthly from used book sales. Aside from modest operational expenses, FOELPL uses all its earnings to support the Library. After school programs and new chairs for the public meeting room are among the things provided with FOELPL funds.

Finally, FOELPL is celebrating the naming of the new Friendshop for Marsha Bristor, a volunteer who worked for decades to establish a presence in the Library, develop the extensive process for getting used books to the point of sale, and assure the steady source of income FOELPL realizes from the Friendshop and its annual Big Book Sale.

Marsha's Friendshop will be dedicated at a reception at 4 pm on Friday, October 21. Bristor and family members will be present. Those who know her, people who want to express appreciation for her work, and patrons as excited about the Friendshop as FOELPL are invited to attend.

The Big Book Sale will be at the East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road, on Saturday, October 22, from 9 to 5, and Sunday, October 23, from 1 to 4. On Saturday, books will sell at $1 for hardbacks, 50 cents for paperbacks, and 25 cents for children's books. On Sunday, for $4 people can purchase as many books as they can stuff into a bag (bags provided). There is no limit on the number of books or bags at this sale. Credit cards can be accepted. The sale offers hundreds of quality books, in good condition, and in a wide range of genres.

FOELPL is back! They look forward to greeting you at the Big Book Sale.