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Book lovers flock to annual sale at Duluth library

Literature lovers gathered outside the downtown Duluth Public Library as early as 7 a.m. Monday to get a shot at finding the perfect books to take home -- and keep.

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Monday was members-only day at the annual library book sale. Today through Thursday it will be open to the public. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com

Literature lovers gathered outside the downtown Duluth Public Library as early as 7 a.m. Monday to get a shot at finding the perfect books to take home - and keep.

It was the first day of the 36th annual Friends of the Duluth Public Library book sale, which continues through Thursday. Monday's session was open only to Friends of the Duluth Public Library members; the general public can stop in today through Thursday.

Prospective purchasers lined up in the early morning to receive a number, which decided the order they could enter the library when the sale opened at 10 a.m.

Marcia Semerau, the book sale chair, said the money raised this week will pay for library programming. The Friends group hopes to raise $30,000 from this year's sale.

"The library itself does not do any programming without those dollars from (Friends of the Duluth Public Library) and the library foundation," Semerau said. "There isn't anything in the budget to do programs."

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Programs include events such as the Kaleidoscope series, a series of free summer entertainment programs for children, as well as other resources such as e-readers and free downloadable music.

Books for the sale come mostly from donations. Some books come from the library's collection, but Semerau said the library receives so many donated books they actually have to tell people to stop donating in the month before the sale.

"They store boxes in every nook and cranny they can find," she said. Semerau said the library does not have a count of how many books are sold each year.

David Bjorkman, a member of the Friends group, has been attending the sale since its inception. He said that over the years he has bought so many books he doesn't have room for any more. Still, he keeps coming.

"The trouble is now I pretty much have stocked up the house to point at where I have no more room, so I have to bring books back each year," Bjorkman said. "My wife is insisting on a moratorium of library-book-sale buying now."

Still, Bjorkman came away from the sale Monday with seven books.

"I'm going to get out of here before I come home with too many books and my wife says we can't accommodate all those," he said.

Bjorkman and other attendees said the wide selection is what draws them to the sale. Megan Drevecky has been coming to the sale for three years, but became a member of the Friends group this year to get earlier access.

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"I think you get a lot more options of books and better selection," she said. Drevecky said the sale was "very satisfying" and that she might need to make two trips.

Milissa Brooks-Ojibway, volunteer coordinator for Friends of the Duluth Public Library, said the selection, as well as the opportunity to contribute to the library, make the book sale worth a stop.

"We have books of every subject matter out there available and it's super cheap," she said. "And it's all for a good cause."

If you go

Friends of the Duluth Public Library book sale

Where: Duluth Public Library, 520 W. Superior St.

When:

  • Tuesday: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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