OSKALOOSA — It’s the end for a long-time annual book sale.
The American Association of University Women, assisted by Friends of the Oskaloosa Public Library, are holding a final book sale this weekend.
Bryan Johnson, President of the Friends of Oskaloosa Public Library said the number of donated books has dwindled over recent years. Volunteers worked Wednesday to carry, set out and organize the still-large supply of books – all donated from the community.
“This year, we had about six pallets; in years past, we had about 16-17 pallets stacked pretty high,” he said. “Yesterday, a lot of people brought books in. One gentleman brought in 20 boxes of books, a couple others bring four or five, a carload here, a dolly-full there, so we did get more books than we were planning on.”
After SHARE Iowa closed earlier in the year, Johnson said, the group had nowhere to store and sort books.
“The biggest thing they did to help us was when people brought the books in,” he said, “they put it back in there for us and gave us a room to sort the books all summer long on a Saturday from probably 8 to about 9:30 in the morning.”
When the facility closed, the group asked around the community.
“[We] asked a bunch of people. There’s a lot of liability, other things. We did our due diligence, trying to find another suitable host for us,” he said. “And not finding one at the time, it got to the point where we’ve got to make some hard decisions. So we decided this would be the last one.”
There might be fewer books to start with in previous years, Johnson said, but the sale seems to be going well”
“There’s a lot less books than there were yesterday. As you look around, there’s still a lot of books here. In years past, we would have books underneath the tables, and obviously, all around the bricks, stuff like that,” he said. “We do have less books but so far so good.”
Johnson didn’t count out a chance the book sale could return in the future.
“There’s always a chance. Obviously, at the library, people still read their Kindles, there’s other electronic books,” he said, “but people really like to hold onto that book. I don’t see that the hardbacks are ever going to leave and I think there is an opportunity for other groups in the future to put this thing together. All the books are donated, it’s not like we bought the books or anything like that.”
Johnson expressed gratitude for the support of the community over the years.
Proceeds from the American Association of University Women book sale help provide scholarships for women to attend William Penn University, supports international legal support and education for women and girls and supports the Oskaloosa Public Library.