Photos from the Vault

Looking back at the first Friends of the Library book sale in SLO

Book fanciers wait in line Saturday March 17, 1979 outside the San Luis Obispo Veterans Memorial Building for a chance to browse at book sale.
Book fanciers wait in line Saturday March 17, 1979 outside the San Luis Obispo Veterans Memorial Building for a chance to browse at book sale.

For 36 years, the biggest fundraiser for the San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library is the book sale.

Recent research reveals readers absorb less with the distractions of digital reading. If you want a good experience and better comprehension, nothing beats a book.

(If you clicked the previous link, you may have proved the point.)

This year's event runs March 5 through 7, 2015, at the Veterans Memorial Building on Grand Avenue in San Luis Obispo.

The event was a success from the beginning.

The following story was published in the Telegram-Tribune on March 19, 1979:

Book sale Library bargains lure 1,000 book buyers

San Luis Obispo County folks like to read — especially if books are selling for 15 cents, an inch in thickness and there are a lot of them to choose from.

More than 1,000 county residents lined up Saturday for as long as half an hour for a chance to browse through about 6,000 books, records and puzzles cast off by the City-County Library system.

Because of fire laws, only 250 persons at a time were allowed inside the San Luis Obispo Veterans Memorial Building to scrutinize the wares, which included duplicate copies of various books in the system. Once inside, buyers sometimes waited nearly an hour to make their purchases. Parking outside was at a premium.

The sale started at 9 a.m.

“I can’t believe what’s happening,” said Marjory Johnson, assistant director of the county library system, as she marveled at the crowd.

About 10 a.m., when she learned the 500th potential customer had just come through the door, she quipped: “If we’d known it was going to be like this, we could have charged $1 a head.”

County Library Director Dale W. Perkins said Sunday the sale was a “sellout.”

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