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Books and movies on sale for cheap at Glendale Public Library main branch this weekend

The Glendale Public Library Main Branch is clearing some space in its stacks and opening its doors this weekend in hopes of putting some recycled titles in your hands — for cheap.

The offerings are in the thousands, and not just confined to books.

How many thousand titles?

“We probably have about 10,000-plus items on hand,” said Tim Elias, operations supervisor for the main branch who oversees the logistics for the sale of items, some of which are donated by patrons. “That’s not to say they’re all going to go out there because we’ll put what we can out there and as people are buying them, we’ll run back to the back, grab some stock and restock it.”  

But it’s not just books, according to Michael Beck, chief librarian for the city of Glendale.  

“It’s also multimedia, so CDs and DVDs,” he said.

Beck indicated there’s even titles for luddites. 

And if you don’t know the meaning of that word, you can look it up at the library while you’re there this weekend.

“We even still get VHS every now and then and so we have a dedicated team of volunteers and staff that will cull through those, see if there are items we can add to the collection and/or appropriate to the book sale,” said Beck.   

What's the process for selecting items to sell?

“We have something from all demographics, all age groups. We also have multiple formats as well and so we also have coffee table books,” said Beck. “One of the things that we implemented within the last couple years is to do a vintage collection. Sometimes we’ll get plastic wrapped, sealed brand new books that have never been touched. Sometimes we’ll get rare books and so we have vintage books. That’s something that’s been added within the last few years as well.”  

What moves off the shelves quickly?

“Youth items, really,” said Elias. “We have a lot of home school in our area and teachers in the public schools. We’re a good source to get some nice, gently used books for a very minimal price and getting them in the hands of the people that really need them.”

He and Beck were gracious enough to roll in a cart with some sample titles, replete with a large amount of paperbacks but also hardback books as well. There’s a back pocket edition of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and a title by Stephen King.

“We also have romance. We have sci-fi. We have mystery. We also have board books, which are really good for the really little ones. They’re pretty durable and can last the wear and tear,” said Beck. “We also have teen materials and graphic novels as well. Graphic novels and comic books are another way to get those kind of reluctant readers to get introduced into literacy and libraries.” 

There’s even a book with Barney, a popular character a lot of people know.

The price is right, but can you pay in coins?

“The way that we’re going to be pricing our materials are for adult books we’re going to have them at $2 for hardback, $1 for softback and youth will be $1 for hardback and 50 cents for softback,” said Elias.             

But can you pay with change you find under the couch cushions, maybe in your car’s cup holder or out of your piggy bank?  

Elias said, “Yeah, you can do cash, debit or credit. We’re actually going to move one of smart serve machines into our lobby here and you can use that for the credit card and we’ll have a cash register for cash.”

A library is more than words and books

Of course, a library isn’t just a place where you check out books.

People come to a library for numerous services — elderly, for instance, just trying to navigate the Internet, trying to navigate their email. Certain vulnerable populations seek out the refuge and the cooling temperatures of a library.  

“That’s a fantastic segue. We offer quite a bit of services,” said Beck. “Like you mentioned, we have public computers. We have over 150 in the system that people can come in. They can work on resumes. They can look at entertainment options. We also have programs, again for all ages and demographics, learning to find a job, attending a story time. We’re meeting right now in the idea center which is our small business entrepreneurial center. All four of our libraries in Glendale serve as a heat relief station to fulfill that critical need, especially in July when it was approaching 118 to 120 degrees. Come in. Enjoy the air conditioning and grab a book. We have nice, comfortable seating. Or bring the family and relax a little.”              

Take your tote bag

There’s plenty to enjoy this weekend and because you’re finding this story via public radio, you probably already love libraries, perhaps tote bags as well.   

Maybe bring yours to the Glendale Public Library Main Branch this weekend and stock up, for cheap.

Hours for the event are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20.

Extended hours for the library begin Sept. 5

  • Mondays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Fridays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sundays: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the days of the book sale.

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Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.