On March 22, 1998, the Friends Book Cellar opened for business two days a week, Sunday and Monday. On April 25, 1998 a grand opening was held. In spite of brisk sales the stock of materials was so great that four-day sales using the entire lower level were held in May and November of 1998. The store attracted more volunteers and more customers and by August the store was operating four days a week, Saturday through Tuesday. March 21, 2001 the Friends bookstore opened for business 6 days a week.
On August 7, 1998, the Herald Leader, the largest circulating newspaper in Kentucky, featured the Friends Book Cellar in a full-page spread including pictures. This publicity brought customers from all over the state.
The Friends Book Cellar offers an annual 10% discount to members of the Friends of the Lexington Public Library. In addition to this discount the members get mailings announcing events and sales. Members of the Friends are also invited to preview the books of the two annual book sales the evening before each sale.
About 50 volunteers worked 2000 hours to sort and conduct two book sales prior to the 1998 opening of the Friends Book Cellar. In 2000, 100 volunteers worked nearly 7000 hours to sort and conduct the two book sales and operate the bookstore. Volunteers are always needed. If interested, please call the Friends Book Cellar 231-5505.
Donations of new or used books, tapes, records or other materials may be made to the Friends of the Lexington Public Library at any library branch or at the Friends Book Cellar located in the lower level of the main library. For large donations, pickups may be requested by calling 231-5505.
In addition to library materials, the Friends Book Cellar offers book bags for sale in the store and at all library branches. The book bags feature the Friends Book Cellar logo. They are very popular and bag sales have exceeded our expectations.
The success story of the Friends Book Cellar would not be complete if we failed to recognize the extraordinary effort of a few very dedicated volunteers who make up the management team of the bookstore. To establish and operate an enterprise of this magnitude would not be remotely possible without these volunteers. We don’t want to mislead anyone who reads this that just any Friends group can make this happen at any library. It can only be done with strong commitment and excellent cooperation between very determined Friends and library staff.
As of March 2001, the Friends Book Cellar hired a coordinator. The coordinator will work with the bookstore committee in training and scheduling volunteers, maintaining membership records and overseeing the operations of the bookstore.
The new expanded hours for the Friends Book Cellar are Monday thru Thursday 10-6, Friday and Saturday 10-4. We invite you to visit the Friends Book Cellar to purchase books and become a member of our volunteer group. Please call 859-231-5501 if you have questions about making donations.