The University Record, March 1, 1993

Bargain prices await shoppers at Library’s first book sale

By Kate Kellogg
News and Information Services

Book lovers and collectors will have the rare opportunity to buy—at bargain prices—new and used volumes from the collections of the University Library at the its book sale Saturday (March 6) in the Reference/Reading Room of the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library.

About 80 percent of the more than 10,000 volumes on sale are priced at about $1 each, according to Wendy Lougee, head librarian of the Graduate Library.

“One reason for the sale is that we are trying to clear our shelves of duplicate volumes,” she says. “Duplication occurs regularly as a result of vendor error or gifts that duplicate existing volumes.”

The remaining 20 percent of the books are somewhat more valuable and priced accordingly. However, none are considered rare or unique. The Library is asking less for these books than the prices listed in most dealer catalogs, Lougee says.

The Library’s first book sale in 30 years offers hardcover books, paperbacks and some magazines. Titles range from Life and Love, a text on human, plant and animal reproduction published in 1896, to practical, contemporary works such as The Reader’s Digest’s Eat Better, Live Better. The material is organized into sections such as history, science, social science and literature.

The sale serves the dual purpose of housekeeping and fundraising. Removal of the books provides space for the more than 100,000 volumes the Library adds annually. Proceeds from the sale will be used for special purchases.

The need for this “clearance sale” proves that electronic resources have not yet replaced paper collections in libraries, notes Janis Apted, director of external relations for the University Library. “Literally one-and-one-half miles of paper material come into our library each year,” she says. “About 50 percent of our holdings come from other countries, many of which have no electronic information resources.”

If public response to the sale is positive, the Library may hold them on a regular basis, Lougee says. She notes that the University of California, Berkeley, annually raises about $60,000 by selling used books.

While the Library staff does not expect the U-M sale to approach that record, they hope to at least lighten the load of hard copy and at the same time offer quality reading material to the community at bargain prices.

The public sale runs from 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; no entrance fee is charged.