Library Summer Booksale @ Henry Luce III Library

Last May 16-19, 2017, the Henry Luce III Library of Central Philippine University (where I work) held a book sale, with books you can buy from 30 pesos to 1 peso. The books sold were old, obsolete books and some damaged books that can still be useful. Some donated and withdrawn books are no longer fit for the library collection, so the sale was held to free up more space for books that are useful for the university.

Before the book sale, we prepared for weeks sorting out the books dumped in the stock room, choosing what to discard and what to keep, and pricing them according to their condition. We arranged the books for selling and for a week I wasn't a librarian but a ... cashier!

During the book sale, my job wasn't just to collect payments and file receipts, but I also enjoyed talking to the buyers and helping them find what they are looking for. Most students, staff, and faculty were delighted to buy books for cheap, when these are so expensive in book stores. It was exciting to hear the conversations about books and ideas: religion, indigenous peoples, music, beliefs, and others.

The library booksale was the busiest week since I started in CPU Library last November. We had to work even during lunch breaks since more people come in and still take time to choose books. We had to stay past 5 to accommodate those who still want to buy. It was good to see the diminishing stacks of books and I like to see some who left the sale with bundles of cheap but valuable book finds.

During the last day of the booksale, all books were sold at 1 peso each. Most good books were sold right away, though there are still a very few remaining in the library. You can still choose, though the remaining books are too technical and I think most will not be interested in them. The library is planning to sell the remaining books to paper recyclers.

Recommendations for a Booksale
If your library is planning a booksale...

  • Make sure that all the books from the library are properly processed and erased from the records. This is why it took us awhile before the booksale, because some books still had to be processed before discarding and selling.
  • It is more convenient to classify the books by subject. This helps the buyers and the library as well, because most people ask the subject and most of them will buy a lot of books in their field. The librarian in charge can also spend less time hunting the books the buyer is looking for. Classifying the books for selling means faster selling! But we were running out of time and didn't organize the books by subject.
  • The Library Booksale should be promoted well to the rest of the community. There were memos and social media posts but I think more people would be aware of it if there are more announcements in colleges and bulletin boards all over the school. 
This is the library's first booksale after six years. It takes time to select books to weed out of the library and sell. I myself carted away a few bundles of great books at a cheap price, and even if I'm not working in CPU anymore I'll surely wait for the next booksale!

Some staff of the Centralian Link, CPU's official Alumni Newsletter, also found great books and here's what they said about the booksale.

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