Annual Book Sale returns to The Malibu Library

Friends of the Malibu Library welcome community back to book sale after two-year hiatus 

By Emmanuel Luissi

Special to The Malibu Times

Friends of the Malibu Library welcomed the community to the Spooktacular Book Sale at the Malibu Library on Oct. 29.

Much like many recent events in Malibu, the book sale event made its return to the community after being shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers were excited to be back hosting the event in the Malibu Library Community Room. 

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Friends of the Malibu Library President Susan Kelly said she was happy to see people browsing through the sale and said it was a good sign that the community is getting back into the habit of connecting with each other.

She said it’s comforting to see the community come out and help raise funds for the library.

“It’s been pretty good. We used to get an insane amount of people so we can tell it’s not up and running as much as it has been, but it’s such a good sign that people are aware,” Kelly said.

The community room was well organized with over 20 tables and countertops featuring book selections of a variety of different genres. The sale featured genres like fiction, non-fiction, poetry, history, biography, religion, music, travel, nature, art, a variety of sciences, and many more.

The sale also featured collections of children’s books, comic books, CDs, and DVDs. 

Visitors were treated to well-kept books at low prices with many of the books priced at just a dollar. 

Caron Perkal visited the book sale and said she was pleased with the collection of books on sale. She said that she did not expect to buy many books but could not resist going home with an armful of books.

“I think it’s good to get exposed to books that maybe you wouldn’t think to take home,” Perkal said. “Once you look through them, they excite your mind. Books can take you so many places. With so many creative people out here, [in Malibu] I think they’d enjoy it.”

The proceeds from the book sale contribute to the amount of money donated to the library by the Friends of the Malibu Library. Money donated to the library helps fund children’s programs, securing guest speakers, and buying necessary supplies needed by staff and visitors at the library.

The event is an extension of the fundraising efforts that are made by the bookstore within the Malibu Library. The bookstore sells donated books and movies year-round and is run by Friends of the Malibu Library volunteers.

Bookstore Manager Harriet Pollon said the book sale is a vital part of raising money for the library.

“The book sale is our most important fundraiser of the year; essentially, it’s our only one, ‘The Friends’ are an essential part of the library,” Pollon said. “We really enable the library to provide more programs than they would if they were compelled to just use the budget that the larger library gives them,”

She praised the community for its interest in books and a desire to learn. She said she is thankful for their decades of support of the library.

“I’ve lived here for 50 years and I know that Malibu is a community of readers. They actually read some very, very interesting books,” Pollon said. “They’re very loyal, they know what they want, they’re very good, educated readers from all walks of life.”

The annual book sale has been hosted by the Friends of the Malibu Library for over 50 years, with the first sale believed to have been hosted in 1971. 

Friends of the Malibu Library were founded in 1970, the same year the library opened. The community group was made up of women who joined together to support the library in any way they could. They began with organizing the book collection and upkeep of the library. They soon began to fundraise for the library. 

The book sale would be the primary fundraiser for the community group until the bookstore opened in 2012. The bookstore was an addition to the library as part of the library’s $6 million renovation in 2011. 

The bookstore operates seven days a week during regular library hours and volunteers are on duty 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Kelly said she hopes the community would take interest in becoming part of Friends of the Malibu Library and would offer their time to become a volunteer in the bookstore. She also urged students looking for community service hours to volunteer, and encouraged community members to visit the bookstore for more information.

Community Library Manager Melissa Stallings said the book sale event not only supports the library financially, but brings the community together to come and enjoy all that the library has to offer. She said she’s glad the book sale reminds residents that they can continue to buy books year-round through the Friends bookstore.

“The book sale brings people in and it’s great to see everyone in one place,” Stallings said. “The book selection in the store is always changing, so it’s not just a one time event. They don’t have to feel like they can support the library once a year, they can shop every day of the week.” 

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