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The Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library host book sale, raise over $31,000

Community members shop for books at the Chapel Hill Public Library Book Sale on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023.

Community members gathered at Chapel Hill Public Library for the Friends Big Book Sale this weekend. The sale, which took place from Friday to Sunday, aimed to fundraise and advertise library memberships. $31,848 was raised in total from book and merchandise sales and new membership fees.

The Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library had thousands of books for sale, including genres like nonfiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thriller and classic literature, as well as puzzles for all ages.

The Friends is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. They organize three annual book sales, sort through book donations weekly and organize events to increase their membership. The Friends organization started in the 1950s to establish a public library in Chapel Hill. 

Marjory Moe, one of the co-chairs of the Friends Book Sale Committee and an inventory manager for the Friends online book store, said there will be another sale at the beginning of December and another one in April of 2024.

"I am a retired school librarian, so this is in my blood," she said.

Moe worked as a school librarian at both Seawell Elementary Schooland Rashkis Elementary School. She retired from Rashkis in 2012. 

The Friends put on a members-only sale on Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., which raised just over $13,300 from book sales and new membership fees. About 375 people were in attendance at Friday's sale. Members, along with a guest, can also attend the Friends Sip & Shop Events, Moe said. She also said members can get book discounts on the Friends' online store.

On Saturday, paperbacks sold for $1, softcover books for $2 and hardcover books for $3. The Friends hosted a special deal on Sunday where readers could fill tote bags, grocery store bags and boxes for a total of $10 — no matter the number of books they collect, Moe said. 

Maddie Kennell, a nursing student at Duke University, attended the book sale on Saturday.

"Since I'm in school and I go through a lot of stressful things as a nurse, I'm looking today just for light-hearted rom-com type novels just to read before I go to bed," Kennell said.

She said she also bought Folio Society Edition books for her family. These novels are a special type of print that book-makers in England customize, Kennell said. 

"Mostly you'll find them at used bookstores, and they're really, really beautiful, and so these are Christmas presents for my family," she said.

All of the books for sale at the Friends sales are donated by community members, Moe said. 

"There are just huge numbers of volunteers from all walks of life who come in and help us put these things together," Moe said. "And it wouldn't happen without that." 

Patricia Albornoz, a third-grade teacher at Rashkis Elementary School, said she was a first-time Friends volunteer at the sale.

"Donations are growing, so it's an exciting event to be part of," Albornoz said.

Moe said the Friends organization is always looking for volunteers to help set up future book sales. Interested volunteers can sign up here for the next book sale set-up, which will be on Thursday, Nov. 30 in preparation for the December sale.

The next Friends book sale is in December, and Moe said the organization is always looking for volunteers to help set up.

@DTHCityState | 

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