We live in the basement of the headquarters library.
Just kidding. We don’t actually live there — at least, not all the time. Our merry band of troglodyte bibliophiles are the volunteers for Friends of the Cumberland County Library, and our idea of entertainment is sorting and shelving thousands upon thousands of volumes for the quarterly book sales.
You, my friend, are the reason we do it: we want you to have more books. We want our books to have new homes. And, in the process, we’ll raise funds for library programs.
Never heard of us? Allow me to elucidate.
The volunteer group was started in 1976. Yes, we are 47 years old! Our sale room was destroyed by a fire in 2008 and by Hurricane Matthew flooding in 2016. Each time, we cleaned up the messes and rebuilt, restocked, and moved forward. Our longtime leader, Barb Kaiser, kept us in business despite all disasters. She retired in 2021 after dedicating 25 years to the Friends book sale. New volunteers fill the roster, and we go on shelving.
February, May, August and November are the golden months. Find our amazing sale at 300 Maiden Lane, in the lower level, entrance at the rear of the building. Fill your boxes and tote bags and wagons! Most books are priced from 50 cents to $1, including DVDs, CDs and audiobooks. We have vinyl albums, magazines, graphic novels, fiction, nonfiction, hardcover and paperbacks. Everything is sorted by genre and alphabetized, and many of our volunteers can lead you directly to whichever category you need —and sometimes directly to the book you seek. We, indeed, love our books.
Let’s not forget the bargain room! Yes! More books! This overflow room is stocked full of volumes priced at five for $1. You’ll find something wonderful.
The money generated from every sale goes into programs like summer reading, kids’ stuff, adult learning and author visits. We also give books to other nonprofit groups, filling shelves for schools, little free libraries, VA hospitals and urban ministries. The work never ends, and we’re OK with that.
Readers, you book lovers, collectors, those who ruffle pages and inhale the scents of ink, who love color and art and the web of words, who treasure information or adventure or a cozy romance, join us. We are your tribe. We understand “to be read stacks,” your lists of titles and authors, your search to complete a series, the hunt for an elusive volume. Wander with us.
For details on specific dates and times, check the website cumberlandcountylibraryfriends.com or our Facebook page, Friends of the Library Fayetteville NC. If you want to become a Friends member and get early access to the book sales, fill out the application at any branch or online. A single membership is $15 annually.
To donate your books, drop off small donations at any branch. Larger donations — more than a single bagful — must come to the headquarters location on Maiden Lane, at the garage entrance around back. Check the website for details on things we can or cannot accept. (We sell books that are new or gently used; we will not accept or sell materials that are moldy, torn, missing covers, or have other heavy damage.)
Keep reading. We’ll see you in the basement.