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Used books serve new purpose

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A man shops for a book during the monthly used book sale at the San Carlos  Public Library.

A man shops for a book during the monthly used book sale at the San Carlos Public Library.

Emma Romanowsky

Emma Romanowsky

A man shops for a book during the monthly used book sale at the San Carlos Public Library.


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Donations of money and books are given to various causes due to the monthly used book sale put on by the “Friends of the San Carlos Library.”

On the third Sunday of every month, the second story of the San Carlos Public Library is transformed into a consignment shop where consumers can buy books along with movies, magazines, and CD’s. Organized by the Friends of the Library, an independent organization, this sale raises money for local establishments.

“Last year we gave $275,000 to the San Carlos Library and $10,000 to Healthy Cities,” said sales coordinator Jan Smith.

The Friends of the Library their donations and store them until they are either sold or donated to another source. Prior to arriving at the used book sale, items are categorized by value and distributed accordingly.

“We really take our donations seriously and we want them to find good homes. Regular books are organized by category and brought here to be sold,” said Vice President of the board Roy Hoyer. “If a book seems like it could be valuable [more than six dollars] we normally put it online to sell.”

To keep material new in the shop, books put on sale for four months before being donated elsewhere.

“All unsold books are re-donated. The adult books usually go to the VA or St. Vincent DePaul and the children’s books go to the Redwood City school district and the juvenile detention facility nearby,” said Smith.

The Friends of the Library’s donations can be seen making positive changes in the San Mateo County juvenile detention center.

“The books come in good condition and people actually want to read them,” said teacher at the center Evette Ascani. “We wouldn’t otherwise have access to these type of books.”

The donations provide teachers with more freedom regarding their lesson plans.

“The donation of dictionaries and other academic materials give me the ability to add to my curriculum and day-to-day lessons by providing extra reading material,” said Ascani.

It is a priority to the Friends of the Library that the books go to appropriate owners and that donations are given to those in need.

“While we do aim to raise as much money as possible but the key is to have someone enjoy the book that they get whether they buy it ornot,” said Smith.

The used book sale occurs on the third Sunday of each moth at the San Carlos Library. To donate, visit this webpage for more information.

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About the Photographer
Emma Romanowsky, Staff Writer
Emma Romanowsky is a junior at Carlmont High School. This is her second year of being on the journalism staff and she is an editor for The Highlander. In addition to being involved with Carlmont’s journalism program, she is a soccer player, Spanish translator, and avid traveler. She also currently serves on the board of a non-profit...
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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Used books serve new purpose