It’s been going on for more than 40 years. The Friends have turned discarded books into cash. Each library is fortunate to have a group of volunteers whose sole purpose is to raise money for their respective libraries, primarily through selling donated used books. You might think sales would suffer because of eBooks, but receipts continue to climb. Last year, the three Friends groups donated an impressive $82,745. With most items selling for only 25¢ to $1, that’s a lot of books!
People drop off thousands of used books, audiobooks, CDs, videos and DVDs at our libraries for sorting by Friends volunteers. Some titles are added to the library’s main lending collection or our off-site collections at 32 locations like food banks and community centers. After each sale, volunteers also distribute unsold books to other nonprofit organizations such as Boys and Girls Town, retirement centers, jails and hospitals.
The money the Friends raise is put to good use. Recently, the Friends in Callaway bought the library a new book drop; the Southern Boone Friends funded the plants for the library’s educational native plant garden (a registered Monarch Way Station); and the Columbia Friends donation funded new Early Literacy Computers in addition to many new books for our collection.
The Friends embrace the ideas that everyone, young and old, rich and poor, deserves to own books, and that a book is more than the sum of its cover and pages. They know that words on a page can open new worlds for the reader. This is their passion. The book sales and the money raised from those sales are merely the means to that end.
If you’re interested in joining one of the Friends groups, find more out or call the group you’d like to join.
Friends of the Callaway County Public Library (573) 642-7261
Friends of the Columbia Public Library (573) 817-7110
Friends of the Southern Boone County Public Library (573) 657-7378