It’s good to have Friends! 

Mary Pom ClaiborneOur Town Readers

There’s nothing like strolling through thousands of books, choosing a big armful of your favorite titles and spending less than $20 for a shelf-full of beautiful hardbacks. It’s that time of year again.

On Thursday, September 28, the Friends of the Knox County Public Library is kicking off their Fall Used Book Sale with a members-only preview from 3-7 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church (201 Third Ave). But fear not if you aren’t already an official Friend. Anyone can become a member. You can join at the door for as little as $20 or sign up online. If that doesn’t suit you, the sale will be open to the general public with no admission required on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Look for some pop-up sales on Saturday afternoon.

Packing them in

The Fall Used Book Sale offers thousands of books, CDS, DVDs and audiobooks – most for $2 or less. There are also collectible and like-new items available. There’s no telling what you might find in the mix.

The Spring and Fall Used Book Sales are the largest sales for the year with lots of titles to choose from, but the Friends also host smaller sales year-round in various branch libraries, and they have a standing bookstore in Lawson McGhee Library. Shopping for high-quality, low-priced used books is more convenient than ever.

Dozens of volunteers work year-round to put on these book sales. From taking in donations and sorting them into categories to pricing the collectibles and getting the books to the sales, this is a labor of love. But its impact is far-reaching.

The money raised at these sales helps fund many core programs at Knox County Public Library. The Friends helped the library launch the Children’s Festival of Reading back in 2005, and they’ve been an integral part of it ever since. They bring the merry to our libraries, funding Santa visits and holiday cheer. They have supported Storybook Trails and the Explorer Pass program. They helped with the restoration of vintage films in the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound. The Clarence Brown Film Festival was a rousing success in large part because of the Friends of the Library.

Listing everything the Friends has funded would be nearly impossible. For more than 50 years, this incredible group of volunteers has stood up for the library and bolstered staff and patrons alike. Their support is far more than just financial. It’s a friendship for the ages.

Come to the Book Sale and become a Friend too.

Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for Knox County Public Library


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