Tables overflowing with hundreds of donated books, magazines, DVDs and a combined collection of CDs and vinyl records fill the Heymann Convention Center Ballroom in preparation for the Friends of the Lafayette Public Library Book Sale.
The event begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday with “Friends Night” — a preview of the book sale for current members, but the sale will open to the public Thursday through Saturday.
“We usually have about a thousand or so people come through each day,” said Flossie Turner, who has volunteered with Friends since 1985. “The people of this area are very supportive, either by donating the books or coming and shopping. This is a way they give back to the community, as well as a way that we can give back. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Friends of the Library raised $13,175 from the previous sale, adding to a total of almost $680,000 collected since the event began in 1980.
Turner said they expect similar results this week.
“The Friends was created to augment the library’s budget,” Turner said. “Sometimes they want to do something that’s not in their budget, so we play a role in that. We are here to support the library, which means we are supporting the local community.”
To supplement the money raised at the book sale, Friends is hosting a silent auction through September, where cookbooks, Civil War-related books and coffee table books will be available for bidding. The auction is set up at the South Regional Library on Johnston Street.
Turner said the auction usually brings in about $2,000.
An annotated version of “Alice in Wonderland” sold for $45 last year.
“For all of our libraries in the parish, (Friends) fund a good number of summer activities, like summer reading kick-off day … as well as special performances throughout the year,” said Sona Dombourian, director of the Lafayette Public Library System. “The funds from this year will go to help our libraries with next year’s events and performers.”
Dombourian said they’ve already received money from Friends to help rebuild the collection of children’s books for the main library, which is expected to open in the spring.
The books at the sale this week generally cost from 50 cents to $1 per inch, but those published in the past two years, or older books published more than 50 years ago, will sell for $1 to $2. CDs will cost $2, and vinyl records 50 cents each. DVDs will be priced about $3 each.
Friends, a nonprofit, volunteer organization, has been supporting and promoting the library system with the funds directly collected from the event for the past 34 years.
For information, visit friends ofthelafayettelibrary.org.