Library bookstores help patrons to build their own personal book & media collections

DUTCHESS COUNTY —  The coming Memorial day weekend will bring treats for book-loving shoppers hoping to stock up on a summer’s worth of reading and other entertainment, as local libraries abound with donated items to sell that, in turn, will help to fill their coffers.

While each library offers opportunities to build a personal collection on a budget, each is unique in its operations and offerings.

Pine Plains

In addition to its regular offerings, the Pine Plains Library at 7775 S. Main St. will be hosting its well-known “massive” sales event set for Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29. According to  head librarian Alexis Tackett, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, shoppers will get first dibs of the offerings for a preview $10 fee, with members of the organizing Friends of the Pine Plains Library having free admission to the early session.   

Admission is free to all others from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday with a $5 bag sale after 11 a.m. that day.

As is the norm for Pine Plains, hardcover books will sell for $1 and paperbacks for 50 cents, with some special donations selling for higher costs.

The event is an extension library’s usual supply of items, which are always available in the building’s two vestibules and which  Tackett sees as a “community sharing”  either through borrowing, swapping or purchasing through a simple honor system.

While the library has no specific rules in place for donated material, Tackett says the hope is that everything would be in a condition that would make it “easily enjoyable” for those on the receiving end. She added, however, that the library never worries about the number of books that are being accumulated due to and affiliation with a national organization that accepts used books to either sell or recycle.

For more information, call 518-398-1927 or see


Assistant director Jen McCreery of the Millbrook Library at 3 Friendy Lane sees the number of donations that its bookstore receives as an “expression of the way in which people love their books,” as other readers gladly purchase them so they “continue to live.” She said a wide variety of  books for children and adults are available any time the library is open.

She added that because a number of patrons work in either the publishing or the arts, the library does receive an exceptional number of special books, including some that have been signed by authors.

The majority of books sell for $1 or $2, with a bag of books going for $5 “just so we can be sure the books have a good home. It’s the ultimate recycling.” Those that are valued above $20 are put on sale through the internet site, which recently offered donated books valued between $75 and $500.

The program is run through the Friends of Millbrook Library, which is currently seeking new members.   For further information, call 845-677-36111 or go to


When the Roeliff Jansen Community Library  moved into its new building at 9091 Rt. 22 in Hillsdale, the Friends or Roeliff Jansen Community Library were provided with a large, bright, dedicated space for a bookstore on the lower level near the Children’s Room, with all the money raised being devoted to helping the library with a variety of expenses.

The bookshop, which regularly sees approximately 30 visitors on Saturday mornings between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., generally has a supply of between 8,000 and 10,000 books. Bookstore manager Celia Kahn said the organization is “careful about what we take”  for the all-volunteer project. Donations can be brought in up to a half-hour before closing or by special arrangement by writing to Kahn at

Recently, Kahn began an Instagram account as a way of reaching  out to younger members of the community, especially those who have recently moved to the area. On the site, she posts photos of books that have been recently donated as well as sharing information about interesting items that are found left in the donated books, such as pictures, postcards, drawings letters and even dedications. She added, “Sometimes people write the most beautiful things in books.”

For more information go to or call 518-325-4101.


The Library Annex at 28 Century Blvd. is the home for the used bookstore, which is staffed by volunteers on Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.   

Prices range from 25 cents for children’s books to 50 cents for paperbacks and $1 for hardcovers, puzzles, DVDs, CDs, puzzles and games.

Library director Rhiannon Leo-Jameson added that throughout the year, some free books as well as many of the above are also available during regular hours in the alcove of the Main Library at 75 Main St.

She asks that donors contribute items in good enough condition “that you would want to buy them again.”

In order that donated items not “contaminate other’s collections,” she asks that no books be left outside, especially on the ground by the Little Free Library in Veterans Memorial Park at the corner of Dutchess Avenue and Main Street as that would also be disrespectful of those grounds.   

Call 518-789-3444 or go to for more information.

Judy Scher, Steve Scher, Ellen Winner and, Nancy Walters browse the offerings in the Roe Jan Library. Photo By Celia Kahn

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