The West Des Moines Public Library Friends Foundation will hold a book sale from Friday, September 27, through Sunday, September 29, in the Community Room here at the West Des Moines Public Library.

The book sale’s hours will be:

  • 9am to 6pm on Friday the 27th,
  • 9am to 5pm Saturday the 28th, and
  • 2pm to 5pm on Sunday the 29th.

On Sunday, all items will be on sale for half of the previous two day’s prices.

Many non-book items including music CDs, audiobooks and some vinyl records will also be available.

Clearing Space & Raising Funds

The sale is part of getting ready for the major renovation of the library set to begin in mid-October.

With the help of the Friends Foundation, the library will try to sell off extra copies or materials that haven’t circulated in a while so we don’t have to store or move so much around while renovating. During demolition and construction,  lots of things will have to move around to different places while the contractors work, and staff and administration are doing the best we can to keep storage and relocation costs down.

Friends of the Library volunteers will manage the book sale, helping book buyers and handling transactions. The library and City have a long-standing arrangement with the Friends that allows them to sell discarded library materials and use the money they make to support library projects and programs, such as Summer Reading and our home-bound patron and eldercare center delivery program.

So not only will the sale help clear space, but the money raised will also allow the Friends Foundation to support a variety of library programs and projects in the future. Note that Friends donations make up over $300 thousand of the renovation project’s $1 million-plus budget. Revenue from the Local Option Sales and Services Tax (LOSST) will also be used.

Renovation Recap

Just to recap, the renovation will re-purpose the library’s former coffee shop into a dedicated young adult space, update public furnishings, and replace worn carpet and paint throughout the building. The work will also improve existing meeting rooms, add new meeting spaces and upgrade staff work area furniture, most of which is nearly 25 years old. Work is scheduled to begin in October 2019 and expected to be completed in spring of 2021.

Closing May Be Necessary

One thing readers should know in advance:  it looks like making arrangements for the renovation will make it necessary to close to the public for a period of time in mid-October. It may take several days to move books, tear down and pack shelves, and re-establish computer service, but we need to be out of the contractors’ way before they get started.

It’s hard to know exactly how long we’ll need to close right now,  but we’ll update our users as soon as we figure it out. According to some experiments and work-rate math we’ve done, just the data entry needed to store all the books we need to will take 600 hours (spread across several people working, of course). Add to that the grunt work, and there won’t be much time left to pay attention to our users the way they deserve.

We hope the public will bear with us as we write this new chapter.