FOSCL hosting popular book sale to support South Coastal Library

The Friends of the South Coastal Library will be holding their Summer Book Sale on Aug. 15 through Aug. 17, in order to raise funds to help support the library.

The sale was set to start on Thursday, Aug. 15, running from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., then from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17.

“We have everything,” said Theo Loppatto, chair of the sale committee. “We have adult fiction and nonfiction, including bestsellers. We have tons of paperbacks, nonfiction, all kinds of books on self-help, sports, cooking, gardening — almost any subject you could imagine.”

Books range in price from 50 cents for small paperbacks, children’s books and videos, and audio books, to $1 for large paperbacks and $2 for DVDs and hardcover books.

“The prices are wonderful. You can’t beat them,” she said. “We do try to limit what we sell, but we are very careful about what we accept as a donation. We accept gently used books and only accept books that have been published within the last 10 years, unless it’s a classic title — something that never goes out of style.”

Loppatto said that the Friends have a storage shed on the library property where the donated books are stored prior to sales, and that shed is quite full, between book drives and donations brought into the library.

“For three or four hours, we stood out in front of Giant, and people could stop and drop off their books to us. It was very successful, and we were able to get quite a new boxes of books to add to that inventory in the shed,” Loppatto said of a book drive the Friends held for their winter sale. “I got a call the other day from someone wondering where to drop off donations. People are still bringing books in.”

Those who are interested in books for children and teens should get to the sale early, Loppatto said.

“What we have for teens is almost an immediate sellout because it’s very popular here. A lot of the grandparents here like to get books and things for their grandchildren and have them. They don’t last long.”

The event is a popular one, and Loppatto said that they’ve heard attendees even schedule their beach vacation around the sale.

“It’s always been very popular,” she said.

Loppatto said that the funds raised will help support library programming and other expenses. She noted that the Friends helped the library match County funds for the library expansion in 2008.

“All of this money goes into programs and special things that the County would not have the money for. It’s what makes South Coastal so special. It can provide so much wonderful programming… all kinds of different things that would not be able to be purchased with the County funds. It would still be a great library, but this just gives it that edge.”

Along with the winter and summer book sales, the Friends also hold the annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, to raise funds.

“In turn, all of the proceeds go back into the community. It’s basically you’re helping yourself.”

Loppatto, who is a retired Montgomery County, Md., librarian and who served on the Library Advisory Board for Sussex County and the Delaware Council Libraries for six years, said that libraries are the “heart of the community,” and it is important to support them.

“We’re seeing more and more that libraries are becoming community centers and information and referral centers and resource centers for every part of our population,” she said. “Libraries have been an enormous help to the community in the economic downturn. I think the library touches every part of our population.”

Loppatto said that the Friends have an amazing group of volunteers that help support South Coastal, and the organization’s fundraisers.

“The Friends is invaluable here,” she said. “We have a wonderful community of volunteers… There are some women and some men who have been doing the setup for years and know just what to do. It’s sort of like a ballet — they just come in and they do it. The same volunteers are there every year … to do this. We’re very, very fortunate that the community supports it.”

Loppatto added that she hopes residents and visitors will attend the three-day sale to support the South Coastal Library and the wonderful programming and resources it offers to the community.

“Come to the book sale!” she said. “We just have almost anything you could want.”

For more information on the Friends of the South Coastal Library, visit For more information on the South Coastal Library, and to see a list of its programs, visit The book sale will be held at the library, at 43 Kent Avenue, in Bethany Beach.