The much-anticipated book sale begins today for members of the Friends of the Library.

A long-standing tradition has returned to the Livingston County Library, the Friends of the Library Book Sale.

The Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale will be held from March 28 to April 6 at the Livingston County Library in the courtroom on the second floor. The members only preview sale is from 5-7 p.m., on March 28, along with the Friends of the Library annual meeting. The book sale will be open to the public from 10 a.m., - 5 p.m., on March 29 from 10 to 4 p.m., on March 30 from 10 a.m., to 6 p.m., April 1 - 4. The bag sale will be from 10 a.m., to 5 p.m., on April 5 and 9 a.m., - 12 p.m., on April 6.

For years, the annual book sale was held in the library, allowing residents to come replenish their personal libraries, while supporting Friends of the Library who then used funds raised to help the library purchase much-needed items.

Rebecca Franke, Friends of the Library member and past president said that last spring the group decided to bring back the book sale and began holding weekly, Saturday, donation times for area residents to come and donate their books for the sale.

“Everyone was so excited to know the book sale was coming back,” she said. “It not only gave them a chance to clean out their collection, they knew the sale was coming back.”

Friends of the Library members would spend several hours collecting books, then would transport them to Midwest Quality Gloves to sort and prepare the books for storage. The response to the donation drives was so great that the group stopped accepting donations. In all Franke said, the business stored 38 pallets of books for the sale.

All of the funds raised at the book sale go back to the library. Franke said in the past they have purchased televisions, computers, tables, bookcases and more.

All books that remain after the book sale will be taken to a second hand bookstore in St. Joseph and donated.

The Friends of the Library group is always accepting new members. The group supports the efforts of the library and also a variety of their own programs, Franke said. Including, One Read, which is an interactive book group that chooses a book, which members receive for free. Then a series of open to the public, programs are held in conjunction with the theme of the selection. Members also take a bus trip which ties in as well. Friends of the library also sponsor the halloween night celebration in downtown Chillicothe, known as Boofest. Membership fees go to support One Read and Boofest while funds raised from the book sale, along with some of the collected membership fees are the only fundraiser the group hosts.

Friends of the Library was formed in the late 1980s, and Franke, who has been a member since then, said soon after the books ale started.

It began outside the library on the parking lot and over time has seen quite the transformation. It is now held in the library’s 2nd floor courtroom. Library employees used to also help with sorting the books and the library had space available to store them. After the two-year hiatus for the sale, now members of Friends fo the Library, align with a variety of volunteer groups in town like RSVP help ensure the sale happens.

Setting up for the sale this year was quite the feat. Franke said they expected it to be an undertaking, just with the sheer volume of books and the logistics of transporting the books from MidWest glove to the library. Once Midwest glove employees loaded the 38 pallets of books into a semi they transported them to the library on Wednesday and volunteers form Boy Scout Troop 120, Chillicothe Hornet Football team, Chillicothe High School FCCLA and Key Club along with some Chillicothe Middle School students all joined in to make sure the books were unloaded and taken to the sale location, so Franke and other members could begin setting up.

“It is quite the production,” she said. “We are so thankful for their help - without them we couldn't have gotten it done, and certainly not that fast.”

Books at the book sale cost no more than $3, and are divided by genre to make shopping easier.

Franke said she hopes community support will allow the book sale to continue, as it provides a great outlet to donate books, and buy affordable books while supporting a local cause.

“This really is a big thing, and so many people have enjoyed it for so long - we are all really looking forward to it,” she said.