The Houston County Library System, serving Perry, Warner Robins and Centerville, is an invaluable resource for citizens of all ages in Middle Georgia. And there is no greater advocate than the Friends of the Library, a group of volunteers that has given more than $276,000 to the libraries over the past 11 years. That dollar figure will grow when they host the 11th annual Book Sale on April 30-May 2, an event frequently referred to as “the Houston Friends build a library in one day!”
It’s no wonder considering the sale this year consists of more than 90,000 books in more than 60 categories with 99.5 percent being priced from 50 cents to $2. The full price range is actually 50 cents to $100 for special book sets. It takes 25 volunteers working year-round and 75 volunteers working the three day book sale to pull off such a massive undertaking -- more than 3,000 boxes of books in all. The reward to the community is that the proceeds since 2005 have gone to purchase materials for all three libraries: children’s picture books, young adult books, adult books, trade paperbacks, fiction, non-fiction, reference books, audio books on CD, BookPage Monthly newsletter, storytellers for the Summer Vacation Reading programs for children and teens, library staff training expenses and a new state of the art microfiche reader for the Nola Brantley branch.
Book sale patrons in the past have traveled to Houston County from as far away as Miami, Alabama, South Carolina, New York and Tennessee to see what treasures await them. This year the book sale will be held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds, Georgia Grown Building near the clock tower in Perry. Take Interstate 75 Exit 135 to the west gate of the fairgrounds near the lake. The building is wheelchair accessible with free and ample parking. An online map is available at www.houpl.org.
“The Georgia National Fairgrounds is such a wonderful venue for our sale,” says Pam Yates, vice president of the Houston County Friends of the Library. “People love the benches at our sale because it allows them to stay longer and look over their books.”
A sampling of what you’ll find at the book sale is “Campfires of Georgia’s Troops 1861-1865” in the Civil War section; “Ghost Towns of the American West,” and a “Selection of the Most Interesting Narratives of Outrages Committed by the Indians In Their Wars with the White People,” 1888 limited edition reprint in 1971 in the History section; a geneaology section; cookbooks; children’s books; a local history/Georgia books/the South section; military; art; biographies; individual novels/author sets including the Perry Mason collection; and a single topic/nostalgic/unusual section.
Thursday will be day one of the sale from 10 a.m to 8 p.m. with a $5 admission at the door that day only. Friends of the Library enter for free. Friday hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is free Friday and Saturday and books are sold at half price Saturday.
The Friends of the Library are concerned citizens who share the belief that a strong library is a valuable intellectual, cultural, educational and recreational resource in the community. Through their volunteer activities and fund raising efforts, Friends assist the library system in developing programs to meet community needs. For more information about the organization and the book sale, contact Pam Yates at email@example.com or Georgette Lipford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marsha Priest Buzzell is the Executive Director of the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau and can be contacted at 478-922-5100 or email@example.com.