Graduate School of Library and Information Science to hold 13th annual book sale


By Ariana Conner

Thousands of new and used children books line the shelves of Room 24 in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, ready to be purchased. Normally, teachers, librarians and students will line up outside the building well over an hour before the doors open, waiting for the much anticipated annual event: the Center for Children’s Book Sale. 

Katie Boucher, graduate assistant at the Center for Children’s Books and graduate student, described the first day of the sale as a “mad dash.” 

“The veterans go straight to the areas that they know, and it’s kind of exciting to watch because everyone is there and they just enjoy it,” she said.

The 13th Annual Center for Children’s Book Sale will take place Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, and admission is free. A pre-sale kicked off the event on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission to the event was $20, and guests were able to have first selection of the book sale collection.

Kelly Bracken, a senior in Education, wrote in an email that she went to the pre-sale looking for books for future classrooms.

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    “I thought it was great,” she said. “They had beautiful, new hard-cover books for $5 that would have cost me $15+ easily. I’m glad I did the pre-sale to get the best selection.”

    On Monday, the sale will feature books with a range of genres, including non-fiction, fiction, fairy tale and young adult novels. There will also be board books, activity books, series books and more, Boucher said. Hardcover books will be $5 each and paperbacks will be $1 to $2 each.

    “(The book sale is) our largest undertaking by far,” Boucher said. “It started very small, and it has continued to grow as it gained popularity and people began to start hearing about it. And now, people email us in December asking to make reservations.”

    Thaddeus Andracki, outreach coordinator for Center for Children’s Books, said the book sale has more used books this year, coming from mass donations. 

    The Center for Childrens’ Books invited Champaign-Urbana school districts and libraries to the sale, along with those of Ford county and Bloomington, Ill., Andracki said. 

    “Children’s librarians, teachers or school librarians wait for our book sale every year to do their purchasing, because it’s at such discounted prices, so we have a lot of the same people coming year after year to build their collections,” Boucher said.

    Boucher said participating libraries will also save a large portion of their yearly budget for the book sale. 

    “This is our way of contributing to children’s libraries state-wide, because with budget constraints a lot of libraries don’t have a lot of funding to grow their collection,” Boucher said.

    Boucher said the sale’s proceeds will go to the Center for Children’s Books and its sister unit, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, which is a children’s book review journal. Over the course of the year, publishers send books for The Bulletin to review, and the extra copies are donated to the book sale, Boucher said. 

    The Bulletin is the ranked fourth in the nation for reviewing children’s books, according to Boucher.  

    Andracki said the book sale is also a way for people to learn about the center and encourage them to come to library when it’s not a book sale. Additionally, attendees are able to see the resources that are available at the Center for Children’s Books. 

    “I really do hope that people are able to see the philosophy  of the Center for Children’s Books and become more familiar with us,” Andraki said. 

    Ariana can be reached at [email protected].