President’s Message – January 2023

posted in: News, President's Message
Karen Butter
Karen Butter, FAL Board President

Happy New Year! In 2023 we will continue the reintroduction of FAL’s traditional programs, as well as the introduction of several new ones. We held our traditional Used Book Sale in October (our first since the start of the pandemic!) with support from over 100 volunteers. We are also excited to announce the return of the always sold-out Live @ the Library jazz concerts in February.

One of the newer initiatives introduced in 2022 was the Pop-Up Book Sale, a smaller version of the traditional Used Book Sale. The Pop-Ups are held in the Alameda Free Library and require fewer volunteers than the larger book sales. We plan to replace our traditional spring book sale with three 2-day Pop-Ups, but are still planning to hold the October Book Sale at the O’Club. Last year we also opened Books for Friends (BFF), a used bookstore in the Main Library that sells high-quality second-hand books at great prices. It is a permanent addition to our book sale offerings and now has many regular customers.

The Washington Post recently published an outstanding article titled ‘We’re drowning in old books.’ But getting rid of them is heartbreaking. Book owners talk about how precious books have become even as their shelves are bursting at the seams. Many see books more as friends than objects. The result is what the article calls “the great deaccession.” Used book operations, including ours, are seeing tremendous demand to donate books. FAL’s used book venues allow books a second life. Thank you to all our donors for giving books a new home, contributing to a more sustainable world and supporting the Alameda Free Library.