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Following the trail of a donated book

The Douglas County Friends of the Library is a non-profit organization that raises funds to support and promote the local library.

We receive many boxes of books throughout the year from readers in our community. These donations are greatly appreciated.

Let's climb inside one of the boxes, pretend we're the books and see where we go....

It's dark inside the box, but when the cover is opened, the light comes in and hands lift us out. We know we're being looked at and wonder where we'll go next.

We're at a book sort event. The "sorters" go through the boxes of books and put us in appropriate categories. Some of us end up with fiction novels. Others go in boxes labeled history, religion, biography, romance, science, cooking, children's, as well as other categories. Everyone that is sorting appears to be having fun.

If we're in really good condition and popular, our journey takes a turn and we go to the Friends' Bookstore in the lobby of the library. Once on the shelves or carts, we can be bought for bargain prices.

The bookstore is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come in and see the books that were chosen for this location.

Some of us books are really old and valuable. We get to be special-priced and put in the bookstore's display hutch. Also in the hutch are several digitally restored DVDs from the 1930s to the 1980s that are in "like new" condition and reasonably priced.

If we don't make it to the bookstore, we huddle together in boxes that are put in storage until the big event called The Friends of the Library Used Book Sale. It will be held at the National Guard Armory at Broadway and 3rd Avenue in Alexandria on Thursday, August 2. Mark your calendars now.

More than 100 tables are set up to hold us. The doors open at 7 a.m. Shoppers rush to the tables, look us over and put us in their bags. By 7 p.m., when the sale is over, many of us have gone out the door to new homes to be read again.

Those of us not chosen on the sale day get a second chance with readers when we travel to other organizations that can use us.

All in all, we are very fortunate to be donated to the Friends of the Library. You, too, can donate your books and send them on their journey.

Going through the "donated books system" happens with the help of many volunteers. Members have given countless hours throughout the year to see that the donated books are put in the hands of readers.

An appreciation brunch was held in their honor recently. Their caring hearts and helpful hands demonstrate how we can reach the goal to support our local library.

If you are interested in joining the Friends of the Library, stop at the library for a brochure, contact a Friends member or go online to the library's website at and click on the Friends link. Join the Friends, join the fun!