Each year, the Dyer Library offers a Giant Annual Book Sale. Even during the height of the Covid pandemic, we were able to find a way to make the book sale work. It represents an important fundraiser for this nonprofit and we’d be hard-pressed to carry on without it. But the other part of the reason for having the book sale annually is just the need to clear the massive collection of used books that take up nearly the entire attic of the library by the time the sale is approaching. However, it’s worth mentioning that things are a bit different this year.

Possibly because people used their pandemic downtime to clean out their homes, or maybe because there are fewer libraries that even accept donations these days, we have been inundated with books. The book sale is going to be even more vast than usual with thousands and thousands of titles to choose from. The attic is in serious danger of overflowing to downstairs spaces as the opening day of the book sale approaches, and thankfully, that will be quite soon. It will open on Saturday, July 23 at 9:30 a.m. and run through the month of August this year. Please mark your calendars and bring your bags so you can take advantage of THE southern Maine used book sale!

But this year, we need more than that from you — if you are a bibliophile, as you probably are if you’re reading this story. For the past several years, Patty, a truly dedicated volunteer to whom we are immensely grateful, has taken responsibility for sorting the donations and withdrawn books into the numerous categories that make our book sale such an easy one to shop. I carry the books up to the attic and she drops in, sometimes once a week, or, if there are lots of donations, more often, then sorts and bags the books for the upcoming sale. Without her work, our sale would be an unmitigated disaster. And now she’s retiring. Yikes!

We desperately need an intrepid person to take on her job. There are perks. The sorter gets first look at all those books, and some of them are truly remarkable. He/she doesn’t have to carry them up the stairs, but does need to be strong enough to move the sorted books from one side of the attic to the other. The sorter chooses their own schedule and works at their own pace. The sorter is the first and most critical step in finding good homes for all those wonderful books. Please give me a call at 283-3861, ext. 101 or email me at [email protected] if you would like to stop by and take a look at this, um, enthralling volunteer opportunity.

Beyond that, may I mention that we begin sliding the packaged books down our highly inventive ramp on Thursday, July 14, then carrying them to the tables and laying them out. Volunteers would be ever so welcome! Call ahead or just show up any time that day or during the following week. We’ll see you then — or at the sale.

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