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Oklahoma libraries bring stacks to the tables

BY DARLA SLIPKE Modified: February 18, 2010 at 8:40 am •  Published: February 18, 2010

The books are as varied as the kinds of devices people bring to carry them in at the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale.

The 31st version of the sale, which starts Friday, will feature nearly half a million books, videos, DVDs and books on tape. Most sell for $1 or less.

Publicity Chairwoman Shirley Pritchett has watched people walk away from the sale with books stacked inside 50-gallon drums on wheels, garbage cans and children’s wagons. Some people have walked in pushing a child in a stroller and walked out with the child in their arms and books piled high on the stroller seat.

"They come with every conceivable contraption to stack with books,” Pritchett said.

The Friends of the Library is a group that supports the Metropolitan Library System by recruiting volunteers and supporting library programs. Proceeds from the sale will be used to purchase supplies or fund programs that aren’t covered in the library system’s budget. Last year’s sale brought in more than $250,000, Pritchett said.

Pritchett said some repeat customers travel from other states. The sale begins Friday with a pre-sale party for members of the Friends organization. Organizers said the first night is typically the biggest, although it only last a few hours.

Customers start lining up as early as 7 a.m. Friday, Pritchett said. Some bring sleeping bags and thermoses and settle in for a long wait. By the time doors open at 5:30 p.m., Pritchett said the line extends for about a half-mile and it takes an hour for everyone to get through the doors.

The public sale is all day Saturday and Sunday.

Sue Fellers, volunteer co-chair for the sale and vice president of the Friends’ Board of Directors, has developed several favorite authors through conversations she has had with other book sale visitors and volunteers.

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Friends of the Library Book Sale

• When:
Pre-sale party for Friends members only, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday. Public sale from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

• Where:
Oklahoma Expo Hall at State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd.

• Why:
Proceeds benefit the Metropolitan Library System.


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