Smithfield Herald

Bags of books for sale in Clayton

Jane Barnes organizes books for the annual fall sale.
Jane Barnes organizes books for the annual fall sale.

The semiannual book sale is coming to Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library.

The Friends of the Library holds a book sale every spring and fall to raise money for programming, supplies and other needs.

This fall’s sale will start with early-bird shopping for book lovers who want to get the first picks. That takes place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13. A grocery bag of books will go for $24.

The regular sale is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, with the price of a bag of books dropping to $12.

The after-sale of leftovers will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16. Books will be $6 per bag.

The spring book sale raised $5,000. Friends of the Library President Gary Jewell said he hopes the fall book sale will raise just as much.

“We just finished the most successful summer reading program the library has ever had,” Jewell said, noting that proceeds from earlier book sales made that program possible. Other book sales have bought a book drop box and added a computer room to the library building on South Church Street.

“Our programs are larger than our facilities,” Jewell said.

During its budget deliberations earlier this year, the Clayton Town Council debated building a second library in town. That would have given the library more space for books, patrons and programming.

But the council decided against the expense. Instead, the library has extended operating hours at its current location. It is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Volunteers from the Friends of the Library make the book sale possible. Almost every Monday of the year, a group of volunteers meets to sort books and organize items at the library.

“It’s a glorious group of volunteers,” said Jewell.

The fall sale will have all types of books, from encyclopedias to children’s books, from fiction to nonfiction. The library is still taking donations of books for the sale.

The spring sale had a line out the door on Friday night for early-bird shopping.

“It’s the best deal in town,” Jewell said. “You can get a whole grocery bag of books for 12 bucks.”

For the library, the Friends pick up where town funding leaves off. Last month, they hosted an employee-appreciation brunch at the library.

Jewell enjoys volunteering for a worthy cause. “Helping kids get excited about reading can change their lives,” he said.