About The Book Sale
The Book Sale is the fundraising arm of the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library. We raise money for the Friends through our May and October sales every year, to fund the Friends programs and grants.
The Friends' mission is to promote reading by
Placing more books in more hands
Awarding grants to libraries and community organizations
Advocating for library funding, and
Come shop with us, volunteer with us, donate your used books to us; be part of our mission!
Where Does The Money Go?
After meeting Book Sale expenses (maintenance on the warehouse building, utilities, and other expenses, almost all our labor is provided by volunteers), we give grants to the Tompkins County Public Library and to the the Finger Lakes Library System.
We also award grants to not-for-profit organizations in Tompkins County for reading-related materials, give educational grants to residents of Tompkins County pursuing library degrees, and contribute to continuing education programs for county and school library personnel.
Here are just a few of our many grant recipients:
Advocacy Center of Tompkins County
Challenge Industries, Life Options Program
Rural Youth Services
Family & Children’s Services
Hospicare and Palliative Care Services
Ithaca Housing Authority, Titus Towers
Ithaca Public Education Initiative, Kids Discover the Trail!
Tompkins Learning Partners (formerly Literacy Volunteers)
Unity House of Cayuga County, Ithaca Day Hab Center
Youth Outreach Undergraduates Reshaping Success
Check out some of the organizations that have received grants from the Friends
Book Sale Home
The Book Sale's home is a giant blue warehouse at 509 Esty Street in Ithaca. We purchased the building in 1991 through the foresight and efforts of then-Board President and long-time Book Sale champion, Regina Lennox. We named the building the Regina C. Lennox Book Sale Building in honor of her in 2017.
What Happens To The Books That Don't Sell?
After each sale, volunteers take the unsold books and put them into enormous boxes which are then delivered to Thrift Books. Thrift Books donates some books to charities dedicated to fighting illiteracy and others are sold via the Thrift Books online store. A percentage of the proceeds from these sales comes back to the Friends, where the money helps support libraries and charitable organizations in Tompkins County.
Donated books that are selected for the Collector’s Corner are held for two sales, after which appraisers in Collector’s Corner re-evaluate them. Some are moved to the general sale floor. Others -
textbooks and non-vintage books - are sent directly to Thrift Books
or offered for sale on Amazon.com.