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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Library Friends Debut Room Dedicated to Book Sales

Nov 01, 2021 10:23AM ● By Michelle Mc Sherry

By Cynthia Whitty

Lovers of Ashland Library book sales will soon find a different, more efficient set up. The new set up will save volunteers hours of work and provide a convenient space for shoppers.

“Our Friends’ book sale is taking a huge leap forward this fall as we prepare to open a brand new, dedicated book sale room in the lower level of the library. We’ll be moving into what had previously been a storage room on the east end of the building,” Jan Poppendieck, book sale coordinator for the Friends of the Ashland Library, said.

The new book sale room measures approximately 18’X30.’ Shelves will be installed around the perimeter of the room as well as in the center, enabling around 5,000 books to be displayed.

“For many years, the Friends’ book sales have been held in the Schiesske Meeting Room, which prior to every sale, we filled with books on tables and in boxes,” Poppendieck said. “The amount of work to move thousands of books from one location to another was monumental, and took many volunteer hours. The new room will allow us to have a permanent location for our sales. We will be able to accept donations, sort them directly onto shelves, then open the room for book sales without having to haul and arrange books in another room. With improved efficiency, we hope to be able to open for more frequent sales.”

Volunteers Prepare New Space

“When Meena Jain, the new library director, came on board in April, 2021, she was very receptive to our requests for more room to meet the increasing space needs of the book sale, and was attuned to the advantages of a permanent sales space,” Poppendieck explained. “Together with her staff, she envisioned a shift in space usage that would give the book sale a permanent home.”

Work began over the summer to create the new book sale space.

“Jeff Bell from Facilities and Marley Lima, Environmental Service Supervisor, worked quickly to clear out and clean the storage room for us. In August, a group of volunteer painters washed walls, prepped the room, and painted to freshen up the space.”

“At the same time, the Friends switched storage rooms with Children’s Librarian Lois McAuliffe. The new Friends’ storage room is now located directly across from the new book sale room while Lois’ storage is located closer to her programming area - a win-win in convenience for all.”

“Once the permanent book sale room is complete, we will have a space where customers can easily browse library style shelves for their favorite titles.  Having a permanent place for the sale will be vastly more efficient for our volunteers who set up and work the sales. The days of hauling thousands of books and arranging them on tables will be ended.”

December Book Sale Weekend

The next Friends’ book sale is scheduled for Friday to Sunday, Dec. 3-5. Friday hours will be for Friends members only from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone is welcome to purchase a membership that night to take advantage of first picks. Saturday, the sale will open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A holiday sing-along is also being planned at the library for that Saturday.

“We’re experimenting with expanding our hours to include Sunday for the first time this year” Poppendieck noted. “The sale will coincide with the Friends of the Ashland Library Children’s Illustrators Auction event that week. The Sunday book sale hours will run during the Art Gallery Reception, with some local illustrators, planned from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., after which we will hold our bag sale until 4 p.m. The first weekend in December should prove to be a great weekend of holiday shopping and entertainment!”

Residents should check the Friends website,, for any changes or updates to the dates.

Proceeds Support Library Programming

Proceeds go directly to support the library children’s, teens, and adult programming. Book sales are the main source of revenue for these programs and support supplies, bookings, and event expenses.