Lancaster Public Library aims to raise $100,000 this week

The organization is set to host its 61st annual book sale on Monday

The Lancaster Public Library will hold its 61st annual book sale on Monday. - (Photo / Submitted)

The Lancaster Public Library is set to hold its largest annual fundraiser starting Monday morning.

The fundraiser, an annual book sale, will be held May 23-25 at the Franklin & Marshall College Alumni Center.

The book sale is in its 61st year, and this year’s event will include more than 250,000 used books and 3,600 vinyl records.

Here are three things to know about this volunteer-driven sale.

It raises an estimated $100,000 for the library each year.

The annual book sale is the largest fundraising event for the library, which is responsible for raising 63 percent of its operating costs, according to executive director Heather Sharpe.

State and local government funding makes up the remaining 37 percent.

“Generating the 63 percent is especially challenging since we are forbidden from charging for basic library services,” Sharpe said. “Therefore, we have a robust fundraising effort.”

The library’s overall fundraising goal this year is nearly $700,000. The money comes in through volunteer efforts such as the book sale, jewelry sales, community events and campaigns.

There are more than 100 volunteers.

Over the weekend, more than 100 volunteers will lay out thousands of sale items on 320 eight-foot tables, according to a news release.

Community partners play a big part in the event. For instance Mount Joy-based Armstrong Relocation will supply between four and five tractor-trailers to transport books to the sale.

People camp out Sunday night

If you see lines of people camped out Sunday night near the college, it’s not a protest.

They are book lovers waiting to get first dibs Monday morning.

“People camp out Sunday night and by Monday morning, the line wraps around the building,” Pat Ditzler, book sale chairperson and volunteer, said. “We’re known for selling quality used items – treasures, not trash – thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who work all year long to get our sale items ready.”

Lenay Ruhl

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