The Friends' Spring Book Sale is coming up the first weekend in May: Friends' Night, Thursday, May 3, 5-8 p.m.; Friday, May 4, 4-8 p.m.; Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
I asked Friends’ President Adrienne Callahan for some background about the semi-annual book sales.
Q: What can you tell us about the Friends Book Sales?
A. The book sales are the main fundraisers for the Friends of the Flint Memorial Library, of North Reading, and we are looking for contributions of books, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks to sell. The money raised from the sale is used to fund programs and supplies that go beyond what the town’s limited budget can provide. Funds support such children’s programs as the summer reading program and school vacation events, Music with Dara, Dads and Donuts, events for teens, and special science and music programs. The majority of the programs for adults are also funded by the Friends, as are museum passes, e-readers, and the new Wowbrary service.
Q. What is the big white bin in the parking lot?
A. We have had questions about whether the books put into the big white bins labeled “Big Hearted Books” in the library’s parking lot and at the East Gate Plaza are really for the North Reading library. The answer is “yes” for these two bins, but not for the bins of other companies. The Friends receive money from all books sold from these bins. Some books, which can fetch a higher price, are sold online by BHB and the Friends receive a monthly check for these. Previously these books were sold at the sale for $1 or $2, were often scooped up by dealers who then sold them online. Now, any of these books which do not sell after a period of time are returned, already categorized, on rolling shelves to the book sale with the other North Reading contributions.
Q. Why have the Friends partnered with Big Hearted Books?
This alliance with Big Hearted Books, which is run by Kevin Howard,
a North Reading resident, has saved countless hours of sorting and
storing books as well as the time to bring the books out of storage and set them out for display at the sale. Storage space within the library is also limited. Almost as important, after the sale BHB takes away any books that have not been sold or given to teachers or charities. They in turn contribute remaindered books to a multitude of charities. To contribute books and media for the book sale, bring your books to the two BHB bins in the next few weeks. If you have a lot of books and want them picked up, please call Jean Osborn at 978-664-0516.
Q. Do you still need volunteers to help out at the sales?
A. Yes, we still need and welcome volunteers to refine sorting before the sale, and to help out on the three days of the sale, by directing people, and answering questions. We want to involve the community in what is a long-standing tradition.
To volunteer, please call Adrienne Callahan at 978-276-3135.
To bake items for the accompanying bake sale, please call Karen Vitale at