San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library

Supporting the SLO Library, its community and the SLO Community

39th Annual Book Sale

Our Book Sale is a major fund raiser for the SLO Friends of the Library.  It would not be possible without the help of volunteers throughout the year and the book and media donations made to the Friends.

Our next scheduled Book Sale, the 39th, is scheduled for  March 1, 2 and 3, 2018.   As usual, the Sale will be at the Veterans Memorial Building on Grand Avenue (between Palm and Mill Streets) in San Luis Obispo, and the hours are:

Thursday, March 1st 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (members only, with memberships and renewals available at the door)
Friday, March 2th 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  
Saturday, March 3th 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  

Typically books are priced by the inch.  Prices are:

  •             Most books – $1.25 per inch.
  •             Specialty books – individually priced
  •             DVDs and CDs – $2.00 each
  •             Vinyl Records – mostly $1.00 each


How it looked before the public entered.

2017 – 38th Annual Book Sale

For historical view of the 38th Annual Book Sale, click here.

2015 – 36th Annual Book Sale

The 36th Annual Book Sale was a great success. Thanks to all who attended and helped us to raise funds for the SLO Library and our activities. And thanks 1) to all of our volunteers who worked during the sale, 2) to those who helped setup and clear the building, 3) to those who worked all year long categorizing and packing up the books and media and 4) to those who planned and ran the sale. Without your help this event could not have happened and we could not have provided thousands of books and media back into the community.

Below are some of the sights of the book sale:

On Wednesday, a huge group of volunteers helped set up the building for the book sale.  Over 20,000 books and 4,500 audio and video media were organized on tables in the Veterans Hall.  The following time lapse video shows 5 hours of work compressed into two minutes.


The opening night of the Book Sale was very active. Lots of books and media sold, but with 20,000 books and 4,500 media available, there are still plenty of books, CDs and DVDs available. Below are the opening minutes from Thursday night compressed into less than one minute.

 2014 Annual Book Sale

The 35th Annual Book Sale was a complete success.  For more details and pictures click here.

 2013 Annual Book Sale

The 34th Annual Book Sale was a complete success.  For more details and pictures click here.

Book Sale History

The first Book Sale was organized in March 1979 by Marjorie Johnson who was then the Assistant Library Director. The Sale was held in the lower floor of the Veterans Memorial Building. This space is now home to the Veterans Museum. Since the room size limited patrons to 250 at a time, there were lines of patrons waiting for a chance to buy books at a price of 15 cents per inch. The first Sale netted over $1700, and the success of that Sale resulted in a move to the Main Hall in the Vets Building.

In preparation for the Sale, Marjorie secured space in a large warehouse on Kansas Avenue – formerly the laundry for Camp San Luis Obispo. Marjorie and her husband Richard led a team of volunteers who sorted and boxed books for the Sale – they did this for over 25 years. Marjorie’s idea for the Sale has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars donated by the Friends over the past 33 years.

The key to success of the book sale is the work of our volunteers. During the year, ten volunteers meet regularly to sort and box books. These gatherings of the Warehouse Gang are notable for excellent book recommendations and lots of laughter. For the Sale itself, there are over 100 volunteers – hardworking and good-natured Friends. Our customers appreciate their helpful attitude and smiling faces.

If you would like to volunteer for the Sale or if you would like to donate books for the Sale, please email or fill in the email contact form.