Those looking for a good summer read, or to expand their home library, may want to consider checking out Millsboro Public Library’s annual book sale.
“They used to have it outside in the driveway of the library, and now we have it next door in the Hut,” said Sandy Stevens, co-chair of the fundraiser. “It has really grown.”
According to Stevens, the sale — which is run by the Friends of the Millsboro Public Library — will have around 7,500 “gently used” books available for purchase this year.
“We do get books from the library, when they do their weeding. When they discard books, we get all of the books they discard. Then we get donations from the public, as well,” she explained.
A variety of fiction and nonfiction books will be available, and Stevens said hardbacks written by popular authors will have their own section in the sale.
“What we have done since the middle of April — we have been sorting. There’s a group of us that goes once a week and we have everything in the basement of the library, and we sort or try to clean up everything that has been donated in that period,” she said. “If somebody is coming in and looking for James Patterson, they can just go to the James Patterson section. Our nonfiction books — like cookbooks, history, biography, self-help — they’re all grouped, sorted so they’re all in the same area.”
All hardbacks will be available for $1 each, while paperbacks will cost 50 cents apiece. The Friends will also be offering deals, such as those buying three books will get one free and, on Saturday, a shopping bag full of books will cost only $2.
“I had this one lady one year, she brought a suitcase on wheels. She filled that suitcase and took at least two or three bags full,” said Stevens with a laugh.
The book sale will run on Friday, July 27, from noon to 7 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 28. A special preview sale will be held Thursday, July 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for members of the Friends group. Those who are not a member but who wish to get in on the sale can go that night and sign up for the Friends, paying $5 for the year as an individual or $10 for a family, and get their first pick of books along with existing Friends members.
“A lot of people like to be the first ones there,” said Stevens. “Another one of our goals is to increase our membership,” she added.
Currently the Friends group has approximately 25 members, and Stevens said that, with the funds raised, they hope to increase public programs at the library.
“We would like to get a book club started. We would like to get new programs started,” she said. “Our goal is to have one public program once a month. We’re going to start small, maybe have four next year and then maybe six the next year, build up to that goal of one every month.”
Last year, the sale raised $1,500 for the library, and Stevens said she hopes the sale will continue to bring in at least $1,000 each year.
“I was so proud because my goal has always been to get over $1,000, and last year we raised $1,500. So it was very, very good,” she said. “We pretty much fund the summer reading program for the library. They do a lot of programs during the summer, and it’s over $1,000 for that program alone.
“With the economy, I don’t know if they’ll be needing more,” she said of the library’s funding needs. “They just come to us and, if it’s been approved by the Board, we fund whatever they need. My goal is always $1,000. Anything over $1,000, I’m a happy camper!”
Though the sale raises more than $1,000, Stevens said that a fair number of books are always left over, and the group has trouble finding homes for those books.
“Last year, we probably had at least 2,000 of our 7,500 books left over. The first year we did it, I just took them to the dump, and the people at the dump just about cried. I try not to do that,” she said.
““We have different places that we can take them. Goodwill has been wonderful. They have taken a lot of our books. The Renaissance Rehab Center was setting up their library, so they took a lot of our extra books. The Manner House in Seaford generally takes a lot of books. The library also takes some. We try to find places for them. Our board says we have to get rid of them, because our library is very small and I think it would take a lot of room to store what we have.”
Stevens said that the sale wouldn’t be possible without the local Boy Scout troop, which helps the Friends carry the books to the Hut, as well as generous donations from locals and the help of the local community.
“Local people look forward to it and get excited about it. The librarians have been saying there’s been a lot of talk about the book sale. Good! That’s what we like to hear,” she said. “One of the people came in and told one of the librarians it was the best book sale she’d ever been to… I would just like to see it become more popular. It takes a lot of work, but I think the rewards are also there. It’s just a really fun couple of days.”
The Book Sale will be held at the Hut, next to the Millsboro Public Library, on State Street in Millsboro. For more information, call (302) 934-8865.