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Friends of the Metropolitan Library prepare for annual book sale in Oklahoma City

The Friends of the Metropolitan Library System has gathered more than 600,000 books to sell at this year's annual book fair at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.
BY NASREEN IQBAL Published: February 18, 2013

What was started 34 years ago by a group of friends who wanted to help Oklahoma libraries has blossomed into an annual event that brings thousands of book lovers to Oklahoma City in search of a good read at an affordable price.

“We started small and probably raised just about $5,000,” said Beth Toland, a volunteer deemed the “voice” of the nonprofit organization, Friends of the Metropolitan Library System. “Overall I doubt if we had 1,000 books.”

Since then, the organization has sold millions of books during the annual sale and has donated $3.1 million to the Metropolitan Library System.

Each year the organization has a sale in the Oklahoma Expo Hall at State Fair Park, offering donated books gathered from libraries across the state.

This year, the sale will run be from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

A presale party is from 5:30. to 9 p.m. Friday at the same location. The pre-sale is for members of the Friends organization, and Friends memberships will be sold in the lobby from noon to 4 p.m. Friday and again after 6 p.m.

Annual dues are $10 for individual or family memberships and $6 for seniors.

Admission to the sale Saturday and Sunday is free. Hardback books typically sell for $1 and paperbacks for 50 cents.

In the “collectors choice” area, books are priced individually, with most under $5.

The books cover a range of subjects, from western to romance to medical to cookbooks, plus a large selection of audio books, videos and DVDs, according to publicity Chairman Shirley Pritchett.

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