The Literary Guild of St. Simons Island found new homes for quite a few old books and raised over $10,000 for the St. Simons Island Library in the process during its used book sale last week.
“We sold in the thousands,” said George Ragsdale, the guild’s vice president.
All told, the sale brought in exactly $10,023.50, exceeding the guild’s target of $10,000.
“All the proceeds from the sale go directly to the St. Simons library, and the library there decides where the money goes,” Ragsdale said.
Anything that was left over will likely appear in the Friends of the Brunswick Library’s fall book sale.
“All the books that are not sold in our sale we give to the Friends of the Brunswick Library, and they’ll put them in their sale,” Ragsdale said. “We figure we start with 10,000 (books) and we sell about half, and the rest go to the Friends. but that’s just a huge estimate.”
In addition to the sales, revenue from both groups’ used bookstores also goes to the libraries.
“The bookstore generates $1,000 a month, and it all goes to the library,” Ragsdale said.
Mila Bouts, with the Friends of the Brunswick Library, said their store generally brings in the around the same amount per month.
As one may expect, most of the money goes to new books.
“We use the money to purchase materials for the library, and that includes books — adult and children’s, large print — audiobooks, DVDs, magazine subscriptions. A lot,” said Maureen Hersey, St. Simons Island Library manager. “We also use the money for some programming we do.”
Keeping the libraries’ shelves stocked with up-to-date media is important, Hersey said, and its something they couldn’t do without contributions from the guild.
“We’re very grateful for their support. It certainly helps us to keep our collection up-to-date,” Hersey said. “It is a blessing to us. They work very hard for it too.”
Ben Bryson, the library system’s assistant director, said the same for the Friends of the Brunswick Library, which also operates a used bookstore and holds books sales twice a year.
“Like the literary guild, the Friends of the Brunswick Library holds two large book sales each year, in addition to operating a used bookstore year round, and all the proceeds from those two sales plus the sales from the used bookstore go to fund library purchases of books and other materials for checkout,” Bryson said. “Occasionally there is some that’s used for library programs, to pay for performers and things like that.”
While local and state governments contribute money to the libraries, used book sales really help close the gap, he said. Combined, the sales and revenue from the bookstore generate around $22,000 a year for the library.
“I think both those groups are vitally important to our public libraries,” Bryson said. “There’s virtually no funding from the county commission for book purchases for either library, so we are very dependent on those groups to purchase books, in addition to what we get from the state of Georgia.”
Brunswick’s library club generally holds its used books sales at different times of the year.
Due to recent renovations to the library, however, its next sale was pushed back to Aug. 21-24.
“We’re really excited to have the new facilities at the library for our next book sale,” Bouts said.
The guild’s fall book sale is set for Oct. 17-19.
Due to the past years’ success, Ragsdale said the guild’s bookstore will be extending its Saturday hours to 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. starting June 1. The used bookstore, located in the Glynn County Casino on St. Simons Island, is also open on Wednesdays during the same hours.
The used bookstore run by the Friends of the Brunswick Library can be found, where else, in the Brunswick-Glynn County Library in downtown Brunswick. Its open from 1-4 p.m. weekdays and 12-2 p.m. Saturdays.