Book lovers welcomed to check out library event

Saturday, September 7, 2002

It's a longtime tradition that has book lovers lining up year after year.

The annual Cape Girardeau Public Library Book Sale opened at 5 p.m. Friday to dozens of literary enthusiasts, eager to take advantage of the bargains.

Many visitors who weren't already members of the Friends of the Library Foundation paid $15 to join and be allowed to peruse books during the exclusive, members-only first hour of the sale.

Long tables stretched through the community room, laden with selections the staff has weeded from the library's collection: books that haven't been checked out in three years, contain outdated information or are due to be replaced because they are too worn.

"We have lots of children's books this year, which is unusual for us," said library director Betty Martin. "We did a lot of weeding in that area."

About half of the thousands of books, magazines and audiobooks in this year's sale were donated by library patrons. Most of the donations were fiction hardbacks and paperbacks and book club titles.

"We have some books that were purchased here before and have been donated to us again by those persons who bought them as a show of support," Martin said.

Hardcover books sell for $1 each, children's books for 50 cents and paperbacks for 25 cents. Books on tape and videos sell for $1.

Additional items to be sold included a few donated items of computer software and metal library stepping stools.

The sale is staffed by volunteers from the Friends, members of the library board and members of the Zonta Club, a professional women's organization.

"It's amazing how fast they get this sale set up every year," Martin said. "We couldn't do it without them."

In 2001, the book sale raised $3,347, more than it ever had before, Martin said. The fundraiser benefits projects such as the children and adult summer reading programs. Last year, some of the money was used to buy a book display case. Planned for next fall is a program to coincide with the Lewis and Clark expedition bicentennial.

The sale will run again today at the library at 711 N. Clark St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

335-6611, extension 160

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