Where would we be without books? Here in Douglas County we don’t have to answer that question because we have a lot of books. Just ask the Friends of the Library, who hold an annual used book sale at the Armory in downtown Alexandria.

“It was amazing. A real team effort,” book sale coordinator Priscilla Reineke said of this year’s event, which was held in early August. “We want to thank the community for all its support, and of course we want to thank our hard-working members and volunteers.”

Some of the volunteer muscle came from the Douglas County Jail’s Sentence to Serve program. Inmates in that program lift and transport sorted boxes of books to the Armory throughout the year.

Volunteers for the event itself also came from the Institution Community Work Crew program at the jail and men who live at LifeRight Outreach, a transitional housing program for those searching for a change in their lives.

This year’s sale had approximately 130 tables holding 1,800 boxes of books donated by county residents. The Friends of the Library volunteers sort the books each month into fiction, nonfiction, history and other categories. Believe it or not, there are already 180 boxes ready to go for next year’s sale.

The event is the Friends of the Library’s largest fundraising effort. Money raised supports the library and its many programs. The sales gross, on average, $14,000 a year. That means more and better author events and special library events like the Community Read.

If you’d like to become a member of Friends of the Library, pick up a membership form at the library, located at 720 Fillmore Street. Membership starts for as little as $10. You’ll not only get a chance to assist at next year’s sale, you’ll get a pre-sale day all to yourselves.

Library Director Dawn Dailey says the Friends of the Library are a valuable resource and together, they work to put books in the hands of avid readers.

Speaking of which, don’t forget to take part in the Carnegie book auction. This unique event will allow you to bid on books from the county’s former library. Many of them are one of a kind and some feature the history of Douglas County.

Get your auction block number now at the library and bid on your favorites in the library’s big meeting room. The auction started Saturday, Aug. 24, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 31 during normal library hours.

Julie Anderson is the public information officer for Douglas County.