Book sale raises money for library
Labor Day weekend in Park City means three things: the Mucking and Drilling Contest, the Miners Day Parade and the Friends of the Library book sale.
Once again, the Friends of the Library, in conjunction with the Park City Library, will be selling everything from paperbacks to hardbounds, and pocket-sized to oversized, all of which are generally sold for under $3.
"The book sale is incredible," said Teresa Ferguson, adult services librarian and Friends of the Library Liaison. "People ask about six months in advance. And Park City is always so great about donating books. I’m a book lover and I love collecting books."
Ferguson said they collect books from donors all year long in order to provide the best selection. Generally, she said, people bring their donations to the circulation desk at the library where they are sorted by Friends of the Library volunteers and then either put into library circulation or sold at the book sale.
The money that is raised goes to the Friends of the Library fund, which supplements the library’s needs or wants that aren’t fulfilled in the annual budget. Some of the earnings from last year’s sale went to a trail map display case, children’s DVDs and, of course, books.
"It’s just kind of as it comes up," Ferguson said. "We request things for the meeting the Friends of the Library have once a month and they approve things. They’re a non-profit organization that is a separate entity from us. They raise money for the library to fund special things for us. They do the book sale and every spring they have an author luncheon that is always really popular."
Although the sale is at the library, Ferguson said the staff does very little in running it.
"We do very little," she said. "On Thursday, we’ll get people to help from the city to move the books, so it’s just manual labor stuff. But it’s really all the Friends.
"Friends of the Library is just amazing. They have a little corner in the library and they sort and sell books year-round. They just do little things all the time. They’re always helpful, always here. They give us good energy."
Barbara Bretz, co-president of Friends of the Library with Cindy Meyer, said the money raised from the sale all goes into one big pot, then it gets doled out as requests from the library are submitted.
"We are a fundraising group for the library for what goes above and beyond their normal budget," she said. "They submit requests quarterly on things they want to do and 90 percent of requests are granted."
One request has even helped to keep the library’s pet hamster alive and running in the children’s department.
Much like Ferguson, Bretz doesn’t take the praise, but rather gives it to the people who donate and buy the books.
"The locals are fantastic every time because the book donation process goes on throughout the year," she said. "We have a sorter that goes through the books throughout the year to see if there’s anything we want on the shelves and then everything else gets categorized and stored for the book sale. But every year we’re so pleased with the amount and quality of the books that come in. That’s what makes it so successful."
She said the quantity and quality of the books brings back locals and even tourists year after year. There is a family from Arizona, she said, who plan a trip to Park City every Labor Day, and have even started driving instead of flying so they would have more room to haul books back home.
"People from all over come," she said. "They come from Heber and Kamas, Salt Lake and Logan. It’s always held this weekend so once they hear about us they continue to come back, but a lot of tourists come back as well."
What brings people back, she said, is that the books are plentiful and the cost is cheap. Pocket paperbacks generally sell for $.50, with other paperbacks selling for $1. Hardbacks sell for $3 and children’s books range from $2-3. They also have puzzles, games, coffee-table books and other related items, all for $3 or less.
Bretz said that through the years she has even found a few deals herself.
"There was a Norman Rockwell coffee-table book that held a lot of sentiment for me, some of the great pictures I remember from my childhood, and it was marked down to $3 and I thought that was quite a steal."
The sale will be in the Santy Auditorium on the third floor of the library.
Saturday, Sept. 2, the sale will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Monday from noon to 2 p.m.
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The Park City Ice Arena is expected to temporarily close later in 2021 to allow crews to replace the ice surface and perform other maintenance work, one of a series of projects City Hall plans to outline at an upcoming open house. It will be an in-person event.