Our friendly bookstore

One of the great features of the Princeton Public Library is The Library Store. Since we opened The Sands Library Building back in 2004, the Friends of the Library  have run a bookstore on the first floor. From its humble beginnings as two bookcases next to the stairs, the bookstore has expanded to include over 100 shelves worth of materials for all ages and interests. The Friends accept donations, sort, price, and organize them into categories, and shelve them in the bookstore. The proceeds are given to the library to purchase new materials. The Friends also generate a large amount of funding for new library materials at their Annual Book Sale in the spring.

I recently had a chance to chat with the manager of the store, Claire Bertrand, to get a behind-the-scenes peek at how it is run.

Hello Claire! When did you become the manager of the Library Store?
June 2017, but I had been a volunteer with the Friends since January 2016.

I love books and working with books… can other bibliophiles volunteer to help?
We are always looking for fellow book lovers to join our team of volunteers! There are different roles, such as sorting and pricing book donations and stocking the store, and we have some volunteers who specialize in a particular subject area. Volunteering hours can be flexible, and it’s a very rewarding way to support the library. If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering opportunities, please get in touch by email, cbertrand@princetonlibrary.org.

Do you accept anything other than books for the store?
Yes, we are happy to accept CDs, DVDs and audiobooks on CD.

My desk looks out onto Sylvia Beach Way and I see people driving up with donations all the time. What’s the easiest way for people to donate books?
If you have 12 boxes or less, you can drop them off whenever the library is open. Either come to the front desks or you can park temporarily on Sylvia Beach Way at the back of the library, and ring the bell at the grey staff entrance. Someone will come to assist you. If you have more than 12 boxes we need a little more notice and information so please contact me directly.

What’s the most usual item you have seen donated to the sale?
The most unusual items we have received have been soccer shin pads and wedding photo albums, so please check your boxes before you bring them in! We do receive some wonderful old and unusual books which we research carefully before selling.

What’s the rarest or oldest book that have been donated?
At the moment, we have a fascinating little vellum book from 1689. But we also have some of the latest releases from 2018!

Thank you, Claire, and happy shopping to everyone who browses the store. We look forward to seeing you at the library.

Photo by Marek Malkowski,

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