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Book buffs have a friend in Jan Bailey

Community Portrait
By: Michael Kirby
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The monthly Friends of the Library used book sale is a must visit for good deals on books and a great way to donate to a good cause. Funds raised by the used book sale go directly into the “Friends of the Library” coffers, which in turn are funneled back into purchases for the Auburn Library. “All monies earned at the used book sale go back to the library and are used to purchase books, tapes, and other materials for the library,” Jan Bailey said. “If the library has a special project we answer that also.” An energetic ball of enthusiasm, Bailey has been at the helm of the book sale for the Friends of Auburn Library for 18 years, just about the time she relocated to Auburn in 1991. Bailey’s father, Dr. Byron “Bud” Bailey, was a “Friends” volunteer and introduced Bailey to the sale and volunteer group. Bailey’s father was also a collector of books and Bailey credits him with passing his passion for books to her. Bailey and a dozen or so very dedicated, hard-working volunteers spend many hours before each sale organizing materials for the sale that takes place on the first Wednesday of the month and the following Saturday, next to the library off Nevada Street. It attracts anywhere from 150 to 200 eager book hounds. Paperbacks, hardcovers, CDs, videos, DVDs, tapes, magazines, and even some white elephant items are all available for sale. Prices on books and media items seem very reasonable. “The books are all individually priced starting at 25 cents for paperbacks and going to $25 for some hardbacks. “Magazines are a dime, videos a dollar, DVDs are two bucks, and CDs are a dollar,” Bailey said. The sale all comes together with the combined efforts of the volunteers, with the work pressure felt mostly on the Monday before the Wednesday sale day. “We work all month sorting and pricing the donations, and preparing for the sale. Most of the donations for the sale come from generous public members, who leave books on the deck of the annex where the sale takes place,” Bailey said. “We check at least twice a day for drop-off donations. We just love our donors. They are number one, and most are happy to have a place to donate their books.” On sale days regular devotees show up to scour the new picks, eager to find a gem. “It’s funny, the Wednesday customers are different than the Saturday buyers,” Bailey said. “We have lots of repeat buyers that we see every month, but also see many new faces each month at the sale.” The Friends of the Library used book sale is a win-win situation for seekers of new reading material and individuals who want to donate books they have read for others to enjoy. In a way, you could call it literary recycling.