#1 —  The Book Sale in November.  Every November for the last many years (nearly every year for the last 52 years), the Friends of the Library have held their annual Book Sale, recently at the Extraco Events Center, also known as the Heart of Texas Fairgrounds.  This Book Sale, offering up to 110,000 items, is their/our biggest fundraiser, but from my own personal standpoint of a customer, it just seems like the best book sale in the world due to the amazing selection and cheap prices (last year hardbacks were selling for $1.50; as low as 50 cents each for many children’s books; and the “fancier” books in the Collector’s Corner were mostly $3.00 apiece).

#2 —  The money raised by the Friends goes to fund items that the Library needs but are not in the City’s budget.  Last year (2014) the Friends of the Waco McLennan County Library gave $35,000 cash to the Library specifically to purchase books to grow its collections.  That is in addition to the $48,906.50 worth of actual books that were donated to the Library from the books donated to the Friends by the public.  Neither of those figures includes the other tens of thousands of dollars that were given to the library for projects such as summer reading programs for children and various office machines needed by the library staff.

sort-room-volunteers#3 —  The good that the Library contributes to the community.  Not only do our local libraries contain enough books for avid readers to read forever and never have to repeat a story, but also if there is a book that the library does not contain it can be requested and borrowed through the Interlibrary loan program.  If I ever need to know something about a home improvement project or a place I’m thinking of traveling, I do not have to buy a book, I simply check it out of the Library.  The library system is not just about books, though.  Libraries also do so many other things that directly benefit the public, such as provide internet access, encourage new readers, foster book groups, provide access to tax documents and even assistance with filling them out.  Not to mention how fun it is to check out movies, and so many other things that I personally love about the library.  There is something there for everyone.

I did want to keep this short, and so I will have to be content with just these three items, even though within each is another world of things I love about the Friends of the Library and the Library itself.

May I offer a reminder that we, The Friends, are already preparing for the 53rd Annual Friends of the Library Book Sale, which will take place November 5-8, 2015, again at the Extraco Events Center.  Meanwhile, do not forget to attend our 5th Annual Mini Book Sale, June 5-6, 2015 at the West Waco Library.  The Mini Book Sale, offering about 4,000 – 5,000 books, a fraction of the size of the November sale, specializes in summer reading materials.  There will be lots of children’s books as well as novels and other fiction for adults.

The volunteers work hard year-round, sorting the donated items into categories, cleaning them, and pricing them for the sales.  Please remember that the Friends of the Waco McLennan County Library accept your donations of gently used books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, vinyl records, board games, and puzzles throughout the year at any of the four branches of the Waco McLennan County Library.  We invite you to drop off your donations at Central Library near downtown on Austin Avenue, West Waco Library on Bosque Boulevard near Target, and South Waco Library on South 18th Street near LaSalle.  Look for the blue bins!