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Friends of BPL to host annual book sale to boost programing

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 18, 2016

 The annual book sale at the Baldwin Public Library has thousands of book and media options, all carefully organized, for guests to shop from. Proceeds from the book sale go to support the library’s programming.

The annual book sale at the Baldwin Public Library has thousands of book and media options, all carefully organized, for guests to shop from. Proceeds from the book sale go to support the library’s programming.

Photo provided by Rebekah Craft

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BIRMINGHAM — One person’s spring cleaning purge is another person’s treasure.

Or something like that.

The annual Friends of the Baldwin Public Library spring book sale will return next weekend with thousands of books and media items for sale at great prices — and to benefit a great cause.

Deborah Mohatarem, chair of this year’s sale and a member of the Friends of the Baldwin Public Library board, said she always has a fun time at the sale, helping visitors find the perfect item among the materials discarded from the library and donated by local residents.

“We have thousands of books in really good condition. In fact, we even have some that are gift quality, and they’re for very reasonable prices,” said Mohatarem. “We work all through the year and take in donations every day the library is open. Our volunteers — and we’re strictly volunteers — come in and sort through the donations and shelve everything according to category.”

From science and law to cooking, humor and more, there’s a little something for everybody at the sale, according to Mohatarem. She also said that parents in particular enjoy shopping the used book event for their kiddos, since it’s far from the “bargain basement” experience you might find at other resale events.

“We have everything from board books for the really little ones to teens,” she said. “And one of the people who takes care of organizing that section has a library science degree, and the other was an educator. Parents really like that, because it makes it really easy to find what they need for their children.”

CDs, DVDs and audiobooks will be among the finds at this year’s event.

The sale will take place Friday, April 29-Monday, May 2. Each day has a little something different to offer shoppers: Saturday is the longest day, opening at 9:30 a.m. and closing up at 4:30 p.m.; all items are half price noon-4 p.m. Sunday; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday is Bag Day, when guests can buy a bag and fill it to the brim for $5.

“The first night is Friday, April 29, and that’s Member Preview Night,” said Mohatarem. “That’s reserved for anyone who’s a Friends of the Library member, but memberships can be purchased at the door for a nominal amount.”

When the sale wraps up, every bit of the proceeds collected will be directed back to the Baldwin Public Library. According to BPL Associate Director Rebekah Craft, a majority of the funds are used to boost programing options, which are a huge draw for patrons.

“The Friends raise the money, and it goes to things like our summer reading programing coming up this year, our library newsletter,” Craft said. “The Friends also provide all of the books for the library’s book clubs. We offer over 10 book clubs each month.”

For more information on the Friends of the Baldwin Public Library spring book sale, visit www.baldwinlib.org/friends.

The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill St. in downtown Birmingham.

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