FALCONER - Everything that's old is new again as the Falconer Library prepares for its 65th annual book sale taking place today and tomorrow.
"A library book sale is a lot more than what people think," said Sue Seamans, library director. "It's a two-day event, but it's a yearlong process. Every day someone is donating, sorting, or organizing books for the sale, regardless of the time of year. Unfortunately we're very limited in our ability to raise funds. We're supported by the village of Falconer and the town of Ellicott, so we can't be doing bake sales or spaghetti suppers, which means the book sale is our main source of fundraising."
Even though the Falconer Public Library book sale is one of the oldest annual book sales held by any library in the area, Seamans said that librarians and volunteers at the library have been brainstorming ways to present something new to guests of the sale this year and those who show up will see a few things at the sale that they haven't seen in years past.
"We've been receiving a lot of books as donations that have struck me as possibly being rare or a collector's item," said Seamans. "As we were sorting books, I set these aside and did some brief research on the Internet to see if my inclination was correct and for many of the books, it was. For the first time ever, we'll have a collection of rare or out-of-print books located in the lobby next to the library. These books will be sold on a different price scale than the rest of the books at the sale and those who consider themselves collectors might find the opportunity to purchase a book they had never thought they might (be able to purchase).
"Of course, needless to say, such a sale could not take place without the generosity of the community," continued Seamans. "Sometimes people will drop off boxes of books without any sort of identification whatsoever, so when I find a book that I think might be particularly rare, there's no way to contact the donor to let them know. Whenever I find a rare book and know who donated it, I'll always do my best to ask them if they actually intended to donate it or if they simple didn't know the book's value. More often than not, even after I call back a donor and let me know of the value of the books they've donated, they'll insist we keep them anyway. The level of generosity the community shows us with regards to the amount and quality of books that are donated over the year is impressive, to say the least. The book sale could not be anywhere as successful as it is without the participation of the community, that's for sure."
In addition to the special collection portion of the sale, the library will conduct its sale as usual beginning at 9 a.m. today and running until 5 p.m. on Friday. The library will offer a bag sale, where a bag of books will be sold at a flat rate, regardless of how many books are contained in the bag.
Currently, the library has acquired so many donations for the sale that portions of the Falconer Municipal Building, where the library is located, that don't get much use are currently filled up with boxes of books.
"There are a few cells downstairs which were once used to keep prisoners quite some time ago that are filled with boxes of books I still need to sort through," said Seamans. "There's so many boxes full of books for the sale that we're really running out of room to put them. It's a problem, but it's a great problem to have. It's a wonderful tribute to the dedication the members of this community have for their local library."
Of course, the sale is open to all who are interested. The Falconer Public Library is located at 101 W. Main St. in Falconer. Any further questions regarding the library or the sale can be directed to 665-3504.