Future of Used Book Sales at Southeast Library in Jeopardy
By Larry Janezich
Posted July 20, 2021
Unless more storage space for donated books is provided by the team designing the $23 million renovation of the Southeast Library, the Library’s popular monthly used book sales may have to end, according to the Friends of Southeast Library (FOSEL). The group organizes the sales and says that current plans provide only 125 square feet for storage – some 75% less than space provided for Friends’ organizations in other libraries.
In an email to regular book sale patrons FOSEL appealed to members of the community to join DC Library’s virtual community meeting on the Library renovation at 6:30pm on Wednesday, July 21, to express support for more space for FOSEL.
The purpose of the community meeting is to show the latest designs to the community, hear updates on project schedule and regulatory review, and provide an opportunity for feedback.
To join the meeting, go here:
https://dcnet.webex.com/dcnet/onstage/g.php?MTID=eb785d47d8c8ee5eab11ebbeb2f78f329 – If prompted, type the password “dclibrary”.
According to FOSEL President Neal Gregory, “The monthly sale of used books is the most popular event at Southeast Library, drawing hundreds of residents on the second Saturday of each month. Most of the books are priced at a dollar, with proceeds going to promote reading and to support children’s library programs.
Sales were suspended during the pandemic. Since the monthly sales began a decade ago, thousands of books have been donated and sold, raising almost a quarter million dollars.”
The current library is closing at the end of 2022 when the renovation will begin. The renovated library will reopen in the spring of 2024.
One response to “Future of Used Book Sales at Southeast Library in Jeopardy”
Ginnie Cooper, the previous Director of the DC Public Library system, is responsible for the curtailment of library space to Friends Groups, citywide. Ms. Cooper did not trust, consult with or wish have any input from “the community”, especially friends groups. All new libraries under her directorship gave Friends tiny, cell-like meeting rooms, if any, and zero space to store books for sale. Sale monies gave the groups leverage, she seems to have felt, and power to have their views heard. A big no, from Ginnie.
Southwest Library Friends have consistently earned more than $2,000 per book sale, monthly, for programs, education, books and even staff helps — using the minimal space they have been given. Our community is the biggest community of readers in the city. We love our library. Please, everyone, come and and beg (we’ve had to beg) for more space for all the books we donate every month. These books bring money for us all, at our library.