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Davis, California

Monday, April 22, 2024

Friends of the Davis Public Library holds monthly book sale at Mary L. Stephens Library

The non-profit organization offers a wide range of donated novels and all proceeds help finance the services they offer to the public library


By MATTHEW MCELDOWNEY — city@theaggie.org


Friends of the Davis Public Library, a non-profit founded under the core message of providing additional financial support to its library, held their book sale for the first weekend of this month from March 1 to 3. With a selection of books on subjects ranging from history, science, world languages, poetry and more, the book sale is able to price their collection for as low as $1. 

Eli Bejarano, a fourth-year biochemistry major, was able to add Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” into his reading list thanks to the book sale.

“Usually book sales give away books that they are sick of keeping around [but] they have a really big sci-fi collection and a lot of classics which was really nice,” Bejarano said.

Bejarano found out about the book sale from Logos Books, a volunteer-run bookstore owned and operated by the Friends of the Library since 2018. 

The book sale represents only a small part of the work that the non-profit and its volunteers dedicate to the community of Davis. Donations pass through the hands of pricing experts from Logos Books to the book sale and sometimes directly to the library. 

Stacks of boxes towering up to the ceiling are sorted through and circulate within this system to ensure that these books fall into new hands. Even books unable to find homes in Davis are eventually donated to an organization called Better World Books to be given as charity to developing countries around the world.

Mabel Correa Reynolds, a volunteer with the group for seven years, manages publicity while sorting and pricing books for Logos’ world languages and literature section. 

“It’s not a matter of saying I want to sort, you got to be well read and have the initiative to know what will sell and what won’t,” Reynolds said. “And, then there’s the physical effort it takes to move these boxes of books. But, it’s well worth it. It’s very rewarding.” 

Reynolds was able to see Logos Books transform from its dilapidated state into one of the organization’s largest financial contributors. The impassioned efforts of volunteers have allowed Friends of the Library to not only last, but expand in spite of the pandemic. 

“During the pandemic, we never stopped working,” Reynolds said. “We used to go out and sell books outside, rain or shine.”

Reynolds demonstrated a deep appreciation for the Friends of the Library President Rory Osborne and Volunteer Gino Greene for helping the organization thrive during these turbulent times.

The community of Davis and their love for reading is much larger than a heap of used books changing hands. The money raised by Friends of the Library aids the Mary L. Stephens Library in creating various programs and resources for the community. 

With Friends of the Library donating over $100,000 this year, Library Regional Supervisor Crista Cannariato had no shortage of ways to describe the impact they have made.

“They provide money for book club bags, nature explorer backpacks so that kids can go out with their families to explore the outdoors, and discovery kit collections with things like telescopes that people can borrow to learn about astronomy,” Cannariato said. 

Friends of the Library is able to provide support to the library so that they can not only supplement state funding but also provide resources exclusive to Mary L. Stephens Library.

“They are helping to provide funding for the maker space,” Cannariato said. “There will be a variety of soldering equipment, 3-D printers and laser cutters. They also provide funding for a lucky day collection, which is for books that are not reservable but are really popular titles.” With the amount of resources Friends of the Library raises for their respective branches in Yolo county, these libraries are able to coordinate county-wide events for their communities.

“They help provide money and donated books for system wide events in Yolo County such as El día de los niños,” Cannariato said. “They help fund the annual Juneteenth program. Friends of the Library helps fund our annual summer reading program, the program’s prizes and weekly presenters to encourage people to become life-long readers as well as to help students from falling behind.” 

With no indication of slowing down, Friends of the Library has continued to expand their financial efforts. There was uncertainty as to whether the non-profit organization would be able to stay afloat after acquiring Logos, after all the trouble caused by the pandemic but after everything, Friends of the Library have held firm in their mission.

“And to think that there were naysayers that were skeptical about whether we would be able to support the book sale and the bookstore, […] it has been quite the contrary,” Reynolds said. “From their love for reading and their continued generosity to donate, it speaks volumes about the people of Davis.” 


Written by: Matthew McEldowney — city@theaggie.org



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