The Friends of the Boise Public Library are hosting their first sale of used books inside in two years from Thursday to Saturday. Despite battling the COVID-19 pandemic and space issues, the group of volunteers continue to raise funds for the Boise library system.
“It’s been two years, we’ve been so excited,” said Diana Cross, one of the Friends of the Boise Public Library, which is impatiently awaiting the return of indoor sales. It has been a few difficult years for the association.
“And it was so exciting to see the enthusiasm of our customers, our repeat customers who were waiting for this moment,” Cross said.
When COVID-19 officially arrived in Idaho in March 2020, state and local authorities curtailed non-essential gatherings. It was just a month before The Friends’ big spring sale, which has been canceled.
The group also lost access to a giant warehouse across from the downtown library. when it was sold for redevelopment. Since then, The Friends has held online auctions, small outdoor sales and recently reopened their small bookstore, City of Trees Books, inside the library.
“So we’re starting to get some ground back. We don’t plan to hit the numbers we’ve had in recent years, but sales have been good, ”said Cross.
“I think there is definitely a thirst for selling books.”
Diana Cross, Friends of the Boise Public Library
The Friends made an agreement with the library to use its auditorium at least two big sales per year, which solved the space problem. And they’ve made several changes because of COVID-19. Only 50 people can be in space at a time. Everyone must wear face masks. No book storage. And Friends won’t hand out their familiar baskets.
“We’re not going to have them available because we’ll have to spray them after every use and all that, so bring your own bag or rolling cart or whatever if you can,” Cross said.
She says that throughout the pandemic, the desire for good used books has never ceased.
“I think there is certainly a thirst for selling books and we keep hearing about supply chain issues this year, that there may be ships in the port that cannot disembark, so if you are looking for books this is the place to come. And you support the library at the same time.
The book sale runs through Saturday in the auditorium of the main downtown branch of the Boise Public Library. Cross says there will be tons of books for sale, as well as CDs and DVDs.
Over the past 50 years, the Friends of the Boise Public Library raised over $ 3 million to buy books, fund programs and build library facilities.