While this year’s Friends of the Library Book Sale was the highest-earning sale in its history, perhaps the biggest news is that long-time sale chairman, Sandy Denman, is stepping down.

Denman has been involved in the event for 40 years and has served as chairman since 2002. During her years as chairman, Denman said the book sales have brought in $600,000 for the library. The funds have been used on programs such as the “Let’s Talk About It” Series, concerts, summer reading programs for children and adults, mini libraries, garden and cooking programs, movies and more.

This year’s sale was the best one ever recorded, bringing in just over $74,000. Contrast that to just five years ago when the sale brought in $33,000 and was touted as the largest amount ever.

Denman attributed this year’s success to a private collection donated by a single individual.

While her departure from the committee will allow some breathing room to start another chapter in her life, it is one that will be bittersweet.

“Someone at the sale a few years back said to me that I had become the book sale keeper. If this has been so, it has been my great honor,” she said. “I have enjoyed 40 years being associated with the sale in all phases of the event. My greatest honor though has been to be chairman for this book sale committee who have become family. They give so much and ask for little in return. They make this great sale possible for you and have always given me a great deal of joy and love.”

Best year ever

Denman attributed this year’s success to a private collection donated by a single individual. This donation, as well as contributions from others, helped drive the 2019 sale’s total revenue to $74,097.

The Friends of the Library annual book sale is always the last two weekends in July, and since all the labor is volunteer, every cent raised can be used to foster reading and improve the county’s library system.

As always, a line snaked around the library grounds waiting for the first day of the sale. Denman reported the first patrons were in line by 5:30 a.m., and that 180 patrons were waiting for the doors to open the first days of the sale. A steady stream of readers continued to drop by the sale for the next three days, as well as on the following weekend when all materials were half-price on Friday and $5 for all that fits in a bag on Saturday.

“We still have 300 boxes of books left over,” Denman said this week. “A guy in Jackson County is checking out his remaining space to see if he had room for them.”

Denman said a buyer who owns a bookstore usually contracts to buy all the books not sold at the annual sale, but noted he was unable to do that this year.

In any case, the leftover boxes were down from 543 last year to 300 this year.

Funds raised during the book sale are used throughout the year to augment library programs.

“The Book Sale Committee would like to thank the public who so generously donated their gently new and used books, puzzles, music, movies and other various items that make our sale an interesting one,” she said. “Your book sale is known as one of the finest, most organized sales with knowledgeable and friendly volunteers. Our prices are great. We start with an empty room each year right after Labor Day and work every week until the sale to offer you a fantastic event.”

The book sale involved more than 60 volunteers who put in an estimated 5,000 hours of work to put on the event.

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