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Friends of Florence County Library book sale to have plenty of bargains

May 1, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. — Saturday will be a day for books in Florence as the Friends of the Florence County Library’s annual book sale will offer residents a chance to purchase donated books and books culled from the library’s collection for not much money.

Most books that aren’t on the rare and esoteric book table will be $1 or less, said Aubrey Carroll, chief of headquarters library services.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to get a bargain on gently used books, especially children’s books,” Carroll said. “We get a lot of children’s books in. For families with limited budgets it’s a chance for them to get a lot of books at a very low price.”

“This raises money for Friends of the Florence County Library who, in turn, support all our library programs including our children’s programs, out health programs, our gallery programs,” Carroll said. “We don’t use any county money for that; we use it for program expenses, paying performers, all that comes from donated funds.”

This year’s sale will have large-print books separated from the others, said Amy Fouse, who was working to separate the books as she packed boxes in preparation for the sale.

Some books will be for sale as collections while the vast majority will go as singles.

Carroll said there will again be tweaks to the layout to improve traffic flow and the checkout procedure will be beefed up to get people through quicker.

Wilson IB students will be on hand along with volunteers to assist with the checkout process and to help people get their purchases out to their cars, Carroll said.

The used-book sale generates between $3,000 and $5,000 each year, Carroll said.

“That supports a lot of library programs. All of our adult programs, many of our children’s programs throughout the year. There’s a cost associated with it. The movies we show, there’s a license cost associated with them,” Carroll said. “All these great programs we’re able to offer to the public for free we’re able to do because our costs are being covered by the friends.”

This year’s sale starts at 9 a.m. and customers can use cash or card but not checks, Carroll said. Friends of the Library members can check in at the Friends’ table the day of the sale and receive a 10 percent off coupon.

It will take place in the Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation Library’s two downstairs meeting rooms.

A new bookmobile

The Saturday sale will come as the library also works to raise money for a new bookmobile — a $235,000 purchase.

“Bookmobiles, particularly the modern bookmobiles with the features we need, are not cheap. They’re well over $200,000 for what we’re looking at,” Carroll said.

The new bookmobile will offer a wheelchair lift as well as offer safety features the current one lacks and have outdoor speakers so it can be used for presentations.

“Our current bookmobile is 20 years old and it spends a lot of time in the shop and that means a lot of day care centers we cannot serve,” Carroll said. “With a new bookmobile we can serve more of the county more reliably than we can now.”

Carroll said the library has lined up $75,000 in funding, has two $50,000 grants pending and has other community funding sources under consideration.

“Our plan is to put in the order for the new bookmobile in the fall of this year. It takes about 10 months minimum to have them built; they’re custom built — you don’t just go out and pick one,” Carroll said. “We hope to have it by the end of next summer.”