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Volunteers make treasure hunting possible at the Friends of the Pima County Public Library sale

A single book once raised $11,000 for the Pima County Libraries
Posted at 11:42 AM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-22 14:42:45-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Friends of the Pima County Public Library promotes reading in a variety of ways—not only by fundraising for the Tucson-area's nearly 30 libraries, but through their very popular monthly book sales.

It's a book sale with great treasure-hunting potential, and it's run by volunteers.

"It's like having your own little mini book store"

Volunteer Gerry Murano knows about the sales' popularity firsthand. She's been volunteering with the Friends of the Pima County Public Library for 15 years.

Volunteer Gerry Murano shows Pat Parris her curated section for the Friends of the Pima County Public Library book sale. April's Book Sale will run Friday, April 26 - Monday, April 29.

"This is the section that sells out really fast—the birds," Murano tells me. "Yeah, I've got two shelves for birds alone."

Murano is one of the 250 volunteers who helps with intake of donated books, as well as with organizing and selling them at the nonprofit's store on Country Club near Grant in Midtown.

"People love my section," Murano says.

"We have some autonomy in pricing and deciding how to display it. It's like having your own little mini book store," she tells me. "It's very fulfilling."

Murano isn't alone. Volunteer Glenda Leader tells me she shares a very similar sense of satisfaction in her role with Friends of the Pima County Public Library.

"This has been my dream to have a bookstore," says Leader. "And of course I never did. This way, I have it, but not the responsibility for the finances."

Leader is currently in charge of the Mystery & Thriller section of the book store. She says during the monthly book sale, she helps give advice on authors.

"So you give them one or two. The fun part is that they come back the next time and want to know if there are any more by that author," Leader says.

Friends of the Pima County Public Library is located at 2230 N. Country Club Road.

Treasure hunting through the shelves

The monthly book sale is always a huge success. So are the Friends of Pima County Public Library's online sales.

Last year, the nonprofit sold a book on eBay for $11,000—a Japanese book of cat sketches.

A buyer from Paris, France, paid $11,000 to the Friends of the County Public Library for this rare book by Japanese-French artist Lèonard Tsuguharu Foujita.

But they weren't just any cat sketches. Executive Director Libby Stone tells me a gallery in Paris, France purchased the book by famed Japanese artist Lèonard Tsuguharu Foujita.

That find resulted in $11,000 the Friends of the Pima County Library have been able to donate to support programs at the 28 libraries cross the county.

And while you likely won't find a book worth thousands, you can try your hand at treasure hunting through the shelves at the next community book sale, Friday, April 26 - Monday, April 29.

Friends of the Pima County Public Library is located at 2230 N. Country Club Road.

We invite you to make a donation to the Friends of the Pima County Public Library by donating directly at their website. Their website also contains information on the types of books and other media they accept as donations—that includes books, comics, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, and even jigsaw puzzles.

As a reminder, your donation will qualify for Arizona's charitable tax credit.

Our partners in the Giving Project, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, will again match the first $500 in donations.

Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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