FOL News

Message from the President

The Curious Case of the Mysterious Moving Media

     When I was a new member of the Friends of the Library, I stopped by the book sale area one morning and noticed that all the carts were loaded with books and the floor covered with boxes of donations. It was a nearly overwhelming sight! I made a mental note to come back the following day and start on the work to be done.

     However, when I returned that next day, all those boxes had been unpacked and the carts were empty! How did that happen? What unseen hands had been at work?

The following day, boxes of books, CDs and DVDs had again mysteriously appeared on the floor. Where did they come from? Who put them there?  It was a mystery. But where was Sherlock Holmes when I needed him? 

     Eventually, it dawned on me. This was surely the work of the usual suspects: those stealthy book sale volunteers whom most book sale shoppers never see. They drop by May Memorial during library hours, sign in, and ask a staff member for access to the book sale space. Then, they set about shelving books, sorting CDs & DVDs, or tidying a section they have adopted. Their only restriction is the library’s hours of operation.

     Our book sale volunteers work nearly 1,200 hours for every sale. That’s the equivalent of thirty 40-hour workweeks, twice each year. In other words, more than the hours of a full-time job. For some volunteers, the work is a quiet “time-to-myself” activity. Others enjoy working alongside a friend, chatting away as they go. Still others prefer working during the book sale, when things are a little chaotic. It’s the perfect time to work undetected amid the hustle-bustle of the crowd.

As a reader and a Friend of the Library, perhaps you enjoy a good mystery, too. When you come to the fall book sale, please take a moment to appreciate all the work those mysterious unseen volunteers have done. Better yet, sign up to volunteer and become part of the big mystery! 

And as for where Sherlock Holmes is when you really need him? He’s shelved in the “Classics” section under D for Arthur Conan Doyle. And we have a pretty good idea of how he got there.

See you at the sale!


Jeff Tudor

President, Friends of the Library​


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Click the link below to start the process. At their home page, type "Friends of Alamance County Public Library" in the search box and our name will pop up for you to select. Once you have selected us, your future Amazon orders should benefit our local Friends organization. However, as Amazon points out: "Remember, if you want Amazon to donate to Friends of Alamance County Public Libraries, you need to start each shopping session at the URL and we will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases."