CHICO – Chico Friends of the Library is once again open for business.
The CFOL is a nonprofit group that receives book donations and sells them to benefit the Chico branch of the Butte County Public Library.
Nancy Leek, assistant director of book sales and board member of Chico Friends of the Library, says the weekly book sale is happening again, which restarted in July 2021. The next sale will be on July 9 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the meeting room adjoining the library. The sale takes place every Saturday unless it is a holiday weekend.
All profits from book sales are used to support various library programs, many of which receive little or no other county funding. Books sell for $0.25 to $2 each, far less than any other used bookstore in town, and CDs, DVDs, puzzles, current magazines, and VHS tapes can also be found at the sales table. During the COVID-19 pandemic, regular Saturday book sales were halted, depriving the library of much-needed funding. It wasn’t deemed safe enough to resume book sales until last July, and people have gotten out of the habit of coming to sales. According to a press release, book donations were also halted during this time.
Many of the people who volunteer at CFOL have done so for years.
Volunteer Helen Sutton, 87, is a book sales coordinator/manager and helps organize sales. She is at the library three to four hours a day, Monday to Friday. Sutton organizes everything and moves the books forward.
Leek said she wanted to make sure people know that not only is the library open, but book sales are also happening.
The Chico Friends of the Library program is always looking for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, take a request at the library reception and indicate the tasks that interest you. Volunteers can take on many different tasks, such as organizing books, pricing books, and lifting boxes. The staff likes volunteers to work at least one day a week or two hours a week.
Volunteers accept donations every day of the week. Bags or other containers of books to be donated can be placed on the Chico Friends of the Library cart, which is located in the library, or if there is a large donation, people can drop them off at the back door of the library .
The library is open Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on Monday.
Sales from the book sale help acquire library books and support library programs such as summer reading for children and arts and crafts events.
Volunteers ask the public not to donate outdated medical or financial books and any encyclopedias, and if the box or bag of books has been sitting in a garage for a long time, for example, be sure to clean it up and make make sure there are no insects inside and that the books are clean.
Leek said volunteers like to receive manuals. Books that haven’t been sold for three months end up in the library lobby. The library also offers curbside pickup, so if someone borrows a book and doesn’t want to come in, it can be brought to them in the parking lot.
Volunteers receive on-the-job training to prepare for volunteering. Sutton said having a love for books and a good knowledge of books is a plus.
Chico Friends of the Library also supports small free libraries. There are library volunteers who stock the small libraries.
“It’s a great place to go for cheap books,” Leek said.
Chico Friends of the Library offers a wide variety of books, such as cookbooks, children’s books, fiction and non-fiction. Famous authors like John Grisham, David Baldacci, and Steven King have their own category because people often ask for books by popular authors.