Library officials hosted a free garage sale to help keep the environment clean and to encourage others to recycle.

On Friday and Saturday, the Albany-Springfield Branch hosted Free Cycle, an event that encourages people to pass on, for free, unwanted items to other people.

The event, now in its second year, is held in conjunction with Earth Day, a global movement to support protecting the environment, Branch Manager Connie Shipp said.

The goal, she said, is to reduce waste by connecting people who would otherwise throw away unwanted items with others seeking those same items, therefore, keeping one person’s junk out of the landfill by letting it become another person’s treasure.

“We want to encourage people to share their stuff and not throw it away,” added Sarah Columbo, head of adult library services.

Gail Crawford and her friend Sonjia Hopper, both of Walker, arrived to the sale shortly after the 10 a.m. opening and, within seconds, found items they wanted.

“We’re always looking for a bargain,” Crawford said as she eyed a decorative vase. Crawford and Hopper said they were amazed to learn that the items were all free.

“You’re giving it away?” Crawford asked. “Are you sure? I’ve never heard of this; I can’t believe this.”

As Crawford filled a bag with toys, a ceramic pitcher, a skillet and a computer bag, Hooper perused a shelf of free books, hoping to find something for herself and for her grandchildren.

“I think this is a great idea,” Hopper said.

The library accepted donations, which came largely from library staff members and library patrons. Shipp started the event after learning about it from other libraries that host similar events, she said.

Items that weren’t taken during Free Cycle will be donated to Women Outreaching Women, a nonprofit Livingston Parish organization that helps women and children fleeing domestic violence.

WOW hosts an annual garage sale, and Shipp said the donated items can go toward its annual sale.

For information on upcoming library events, visit