Used Book Sale

October used book sale a success!

The October 2018 book sale brought in a record amount: $17,000. We are very grateful to everyone who worked the sale over the three-day event, particularly those who come back to work each sale and volunteers who worked multiple shifts. We truly depend on your reliability and dedication. A special thank you also to our new volunteers, who pitched in when and wherever needed. All of you helped to make this book sale one of the smoothest ever!  As a result, the Friends of the Alameda Free Library is able to contribute significantly to the Library’s children’s, teen, and adult reading programs. These include kids story times and sing-a-longs, teen and middle school book clubs & homework coaching, the summer kids reading program, and Alameda Reads!

Our warehouse volunteers, along with the amazing Coast Guard team headed by LTJG Hayden Hughes and GMCS Anthony Severson, were able to transfer over 900 boxes of books and set up the O’Club in record time. This would not have been possible without the help of Patrick Russi and Dennis McDaniels at ARPD. And, because we had a terrific turnout of 55 volunteers to help us set up on Friday morning, we were done by 11:30 (including book layout and box storage), and ready for shopping.  Fantastic! 

Some of you may have noticed that we chose to be a bit more selective about the donations we accepted for this sale. The total number of books on display was slightly reduced, but the average quality of the books available was generally higher. We also adjusted pricing in several areas (both increases and decreases). Many patrons commented positively on the changes, and the net effect was our highest sales total, with fewer books to be repacked and sent for redistribution. 

Essential to this effort is the ongoing work of our team in the back room and the warehouse, who work non-stop in between sales — sorting, pricing, boxing and moving boxes to the storage site. In fact, we are already busy sorting books for the next sale, so please bring in your donations! And if you are interested in volunteering a few hours a week to sort, we’d love to have you join us.  

Head Librarian Jane Chisaki and the Friends of the Alameda Free Library Board members have been very supportive throughout the year, and many volunteered for the sale as well.  The sale days themselves went very smoothly – from ticket sales to pre-counters to cashiers, book sitters to hand-truck drivers, each played an important part. A special shout-out to our table organizers, who kept everything in good order, wrangled bookends, and also helped condense and rearrange the stock so it remained appealing. In fact, by rearranging the books by size on Sunday afternoon, they greatly simplified our repacking and clear-out after the sale, which was completed in record time. A big bonus for all of us after the long sale weekend! 

Finally, if you have any suggestions or comments to make about the sale, please feel free to share them with us by responding to this email. Thank you again for all your efforts, and we hope you will join us again May 3-5, 2019 for our next sale.  Happy Reading!

The Book Sale Committee:  Catherine Atcheson, Nancy Cooney, Lynda Graham, Tracy Matsuoka, Anne McDonald, Lisa Mendoza, and Peg Rosen


See the full list of volunteers at the October sale below.

Next sale scheduled for May 3-5, 2019

Location: The O’Club, 641 W. Red Line Avenue (Alameda Point)

Donate books for the next sale

The sale depends on generous donors who bring their gently used books and materials for dropoff at the Main Library. For details on when and how to donate, click here.

FAL needs new book storage space

FAL will soon lose the warehouse space we use to store many thousands of books, materials and other supplies for the twice-yearly book sales that support programs at the libraries. We are looking for storage space of about 1,000 square feet, which could be split up into smaller rooms or areas. The space would need to be accessible regularly and secured with locks and/or security cameras. Easy access with a ramp or elevator would also be needed. Items are often moved into storage during the day and early evening.

Current storage is free; FAL has a small budget that could go toward renting a space. However, we know every dollar spent would be taking away from the programs supported by the book sales.

If you know of a potential space in or near Alameda, please contact Carole Robie at And pass along this request to others who might be able to help!! Many thanks in advance.

Thanks to the volunteers for the October 2018 book sale!

Susan Avery Sarah Kim Carol Robie
David Beall Constance Kozlowski Karen Roemer
Barbara Benson Sarah Lam Ximena Rossi
Skip Benson Pat Landsberg Andy Roveda
Sandra Berger Nola Li Barr Shirley Sachsen
Rick Boyles Heidi Lien Lorraine Salazar
Karen Butter Colin Ma Eileen Savel
Jane Chisaki Nancy Mace Lena Sazo
Rudy De Walque Joe Mallon Divya Sharma
Judy Ecker Patricia Mancini Andrei Shkidt
Anna Elefant Karen Manuel Kerry Shoji
Jane Erwin Jill Mariani Cynthia Silva
Curtis Faville Melissa Mayfield Stephen Sims
Merry Faville Jennifer McGaffey Carolyn Storm
Peggy Forbes Elizabeth McGaffey Zach Storm
Kimberly Foster Mark Mendoza Fred Surh
Christian Fritze Jennifer Miller Amaran Tarnoff
Hannah Fritze Honora Murphy Daryl Van Fleet
Matt Fritze Peter Nevada Tarun Wadhwa
Lisa Gayton Marilyn Ng Vicki Watson
Jan Greene Ann North David Wexler
Nancy Horton Karen Oliver Jo Winzenread
Cathy Huie Sita Peddada Marv Winzenread
Deanna Huie Paul Pedersen Tanya Wodinsky
Glenn Itano Anna Phu Celine Wong
Patti Itano Heidi Prutton Johanna Woolley
John Kaso Lee Prutton Roberta K. Wright
John Kennedy Marie Randall Heather Zacks
Luzanne Engh Billy Reinschmiedt