Archives For Friends of the Library

The advertisement on Book Sale Finder for the Wilton Public Library Book Sale  in Wilton, CT, read,All books on sale for this sale… not just Children and Teens.”

The reason for the clarification? This annual end of summer book sale usually offers the best selections of donated books for children and teens in the area.

This past weekend’s sale  (9/19-21) did not disappoint.

In the space of an hour, I collected over 200 books suited for students in grades 5-10. High interest titles such as Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging for the older students, selections from the Lunch Lady graphic novel series (“serving justice, and serving…..lunch!”) for the younger students. My shopping spree was fueled by the knowledge that Sunday was the 1/2 price day. Hardcovers were $1.50; paperbacks were as little as $.25. At these prices, who could resist picking up multiple copies of Chicken Soup for the Teenaged Soul or duplicate selections from Margaret Peterson’s Haddix series?

All books are headed to the independent reading classroom libraries in the intermediate, middle, and high schools in West Haven. In particular, the SSR (silent sustained reading) in grades 7 & 8 is a reading initiative that is now possible because of the new 90 minute block schedule. Teachers explained the SSR program to parents during the Open House last week and encouraged attending parents to discuss reading for fun with their children.

My industrious selecting caught the attention of several of the volunteers who provided the extra bags and boxes I needed. These Friends of the Wilton Library were genuinely delighted that I was removing a large portion of their inventory.
“These books will be enjoyed again,” from one.
“You are exactly who we want to come to these sales,” from another, “these will be books for classrooms!”
“You got so many of the better titles,” from a third who seemed to know YA literature as she perused my selections.

Like good professional salespeople, they continued to affirm the choices I made as they counted….and counted, and counted. The sum total? $150.00!

This event was advertised as an “Awesome Autumn Book Sale” and yes, it was awesome! This is the first day of autumn, and this autumn I can confidently predict there will be a multiple floods…multiple classroom book floods!

Thank you, Friends of the Wilton Public Library!

Peqout Library in Southport, CT

The 2012 summer tri-athlon  of Fairfield County, Connecticut, Friends of the Public Library book sales is over! Hundreds of book buyers have visited Newtown’s C.H.Booth’s Library, Westport’s Public Library, and finally, Southport’s Pequot Library in search of bargains and great reads. Each book sale has its own distinctive  level of organization and quality of merchandise. Newtown is “uber”-organized, and Westport caters to large crowds of book buyers with an enormous selection. Southport’s claim to fame is the quality of the texts.

Newtown and Westport book sales offer holding areas for book buyers to place filled boxes or bags. Southport has quality texts. Westport and Newtown book sales have well-organized tables and books sorted into correct genres. Southport has quality texts. Westport and Newtown book sales have volunteers  that move with the crowd and refresh tables. Southport has quality texts.

Quality texts are perhaps the only reason to attend the Pequot Library’s book sale. In two hours, I spent $306.00 on four boxes of books for different grade levels. For example:

  • 4 copies of Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood- Grade 10 World Literature
  • 12 copies of The Help– Grade 11-Civil Rights unit
  • 5 copies of Speak-Grade 9
  • 6 copies of All the King’s Men-AP English Language and Literature
  • 6 copies of The Giver-Grade 7
  • 7 copies of Night-Grade 10-Interdisciplinary unit
  • 5 copies of Tuesdays with Morrie-Grade 9 Independent read  or Grade 11 Coming of Age unit
  • 2 copies of The Odessey (Fitzgerald)-Grade 9
  • 4 copies of Beowulf (Heaney)-Grade 10 -World Literature

Each text was in mint condition. More than a few looked “unread” by students who must have purchased the text for class. All copies were free of notes or highlighting. I do suspect that there are students in Southport, like my students in Litchfield, who may be opting for Sparknotes support!

Southport offers a Friday preview day with books at double the cost, but by the following Tuesday, books are $5.00/bag.

2012 Hours and Pricing:
Friday, July 27 – 9am to 8pm – All items double the marked price
Saturday, July 28 – 9am to 5:30pm – All items priced as marked
Sunday, July 29 – 9am to 5:30 pm – All items priced as marked
Monday, July 30 – 9am to 6pm – All items half price
Tuesday, July 31 – 9am to 2pm – $5 per bag day!

The volunteers were gracious, but many seemed to be “in-training” or waiting for an authority to make a decision. That did not take away from the quality of the texts. There were books -particularly fiction-that had been placed on the ends of the tables left partially covered by the large tent. Unfortunately, many of these books did get saturated by the soaking rain the night before. This has happened in years past. One wonders what the volunteers could do in the future to avoid the damage that happens when there are texts uncovered; it is sad to see so many good quality books damaged when they could bring a profit to the library or more literature to a classroom.

There are discounts  offered to teachers in Bridgeport and New Haven, but with education budgets receiving cuts around the state, perhaps consideration can be given to teachers in other towns as well? Most teachers pay out of pocket for school supplies, not the school districts. Teacher discounts would help support literacy in classrooms throughout the state by creating “book floods” in each school.

My tri-athalon of book sales is over for the summer. My classroom libraries grades 7-12 are almost filled in preparation for 2012-2013. I have collected my goal-a class set of The Help, and added a number of new titles for independent reading or literature circles. There is a book flood at Wamogo Middle/High School And, thanks to Southport, many of these books are quality texts.

The New Fairfield Public Library Book Sale  took place on a lovely fall day; a crisp and cool Connecticut beauty of a day. Unfortunately, the sale also took place in the same locale where the local highway department was painting the parking lot lines at the front of the building,  and where the soccer club practice with team coordinators were handing out team jerseys at the back of the building. The actual book sale was held in a meeting room and a small entry hallway. At 10:00 AM, shopping at the sale was challenging between finding a spot to park outside and negotiating cramped quarters inside.

There were, however, some bargains to be had. Browsing was a shared experience with several other buyers; I would remove a box piled with books to one section, while another person would replace that box with another. Crawling along the front hallway floor which held boxes of trade paperbacks, I was able to locate copies of Codetalkers by Joseph Bruchac and A Yellow Raft in Blue Water-Michael Dorris for the Contemporary Native American unit that is being taught this month in Grade 11. I was also able to add to our curriculum collection:

The Giver- Lois Lowery
Night-Elie Wiesel
The Great Gatsby-F. Scott Fitzgerald
Lord of the Flies-William Golding
Brave New World-Aldous Huxley
The Road-Cormac McCarthy
The Handmaid’s Tale- Margaret Atwood

An independent choice book for Grade 11.

The “score” of the morning was a new copy of Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell.  This is the fourth copy I have found this summer, and the book will be placed in the “Coming of Age” unit in Grade 11 as an independent choice novel. The School Library Journal reviewed this book for high school students saying, “In the poverty-stricken hills of the Ozarks, Rees Dolly, 17, struggles daily to care for her two brothers and an ill mother. When she learns that her absent father, a meth addict, has put up the family home as bond, she embarks on a dangerous search to find him and bring him home for an upcoming court date. Her relatives, many of whom are in the business of cooking crank, thwart her at every turn, but her fight to save the family finally succeeds. Rees is by turns tough and tender. She teaches her brothers how to shoot a shotgun, and even box, the way her father had taught her. Her hope is that these boys would not be dead to wonder by age twelve, dulled to life, empty of kindness, boiling with mean.”  When I read the novel, images of the witches from Macbeth came to mind!

For the independent reading shelves, I also located a copy of Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Book Two The Ruins of Gorlan in The Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan , After by Francine Prose, and Ape House by Sara Gruen (surprising since this is a recent release).

New Fairfield’s sale offered far more hardcover fiction texts than trade paperbacks, and the children’s picture books were overflowing the small table to which they had been assigned. This could be an indication of a shift in population to more elementary aged choices….the New Fairfield babies are growing up!

Once I brought my two baskets to the counter, the volunteers at the checkout were gracious and accommodating. They were prepared with bags for purchases, and at my request  one quickly designed a receipt for me. (“Last year, I had a pile of receipts, but no one need them, wouldn’t you know?”)

Hardcovers were $2.00, trade paperbacks were $1.00, and small paperbacks were $.50. Sunday was “Bag day”-all books in a bag for $10.00.  I purchased only trade and small paperback on this trip and spent $26.00 for 32 books. These will be added to the school’s “book flood“.

The volunteers picked a perfect weekend for people looking for book bargains. Perhaps next year there will be better coordination of traffic outside the library and inside the sale so the efforts of the Friends of the New Fairfield Public Library are fully supported.