Newark Public Library Holds Annual Book Sale
Every year eager shoppers gather on the first day of the annual book sale, lining up outside the Centennial Hall on the second floor of The Newark Public Library, hoping to find some books to treasure: an art book featuring the work of Matisse, the latest James Patterson novel, a gently used dictionary.
This year the sale starts Saturday, April 21, coinciding with National Library Week, and runs for four days through April 28. Saturday hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 26 the sale is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The event is organized by the Friends of the Newark Public Library and is entering its 16th year.
"A great team of volunteers sort the donations during the weeks leading up to the sale," noted Gerald Caprio of Verona, book sale chairman. The large selection of hardcover fiction is always popular. Subject areas such as art and music, African American interest, health and fitness, cookbooks, and travel are well stocked. Customers will also find children’s books and many books in world languages.
"This is a community event, one that brings together residents and business people; individuals who live or work in Newark or in the surrounding communities. They all come to the sale because they share a common love of books," said Library Director Wilma J. Grey. "It gives us pleasure each year to see the numbers of people who come to the Library to purchase books and other items in the sale."
The Friends of the Newark Public Library use the money they raise to address needs identified by the Library. In 2005, the Friends supported the Special Collections Division and exhibitions. Last year the money was used to preserve historic maps in the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center. The Friends have also made generous donations to the Library’s endowment funds. These donations have been made in honor of William J. Dane to the Gertrude Fund endowment, which benefits the Special Collections Division, and in memory of Charles Cummings to the Robert Treat Fund to support New Jersey collections.
Caprio and Patricia Bender, president of the Friends group, estimate that almost 10,000 books exchange hands during the sale.
"Our philosophy is to make sure the books and other items are affordable," Caprio said. "We’re not looking to make a lot of money. We just want people to be able to purchase the books and to give them a good home."
The books, thousands of them, come from many different sources. Some are library discards; others are donated specifically for the sale.
Prices at The Newark Public Library Book Sale run $2 for a hardcover book; $1 for a large paperback and five pocket books for $1. Children may purchase books at a reasonable price of ten cents per book. At the end of the sale, unsold books are donated to the county jail, group homes, homeless shelters, and other worthy local charities.
"While the money we raise through the book sale is important, about $8,000, it’s also important to get the books into the hands of as many people as possible," said Bender, the director of the Writing Center at Rutgers University-Newark. "We support the Library’s goal of access, of making books available and affordable for everybody."
For more information about The Newark Public Library, its programs and the sale, please call 973-733-7793 or log on to www.npl.org.
©2007 The Newark Public Library