Used Books


The FOTL Used Book area on the main floor of the Central Library offers used books on a wide variety of topics.

Both hardback and paperback books are available and there are also sections for teens, children, CDs, DVD, audio books, magazines and more. At any given time there are more than 5,000 paperbacks on the shelves ranging in price from 25 cents to $3.00!

Fresh inventory is added to the shelves three times a week, so we encourage readers to check with us weekly.

We are always in need of used books. Click here for more information.

Marcy Long - Used Books Volunteer

Marcy Long, A True Volunteer

With more than 6,380 volunteer hours, Marcy Long has spent the past 13 years sorting, pricing, stocking and working in the Friends of the Library (FOTL)'s Used Books area. 

Marcy loves being at the library. She has fond memories of her mother reading to her and her six siblings. When she went to school, she became an avid reader and read every Nancy Drew mystery in the school library!


She believes that her greatest contribution to the library has been to keep the other Used Books volunteers motivated so that they keep coming back. She knows that great volunteers who all get along and have fun together make the operation a success. Her mentors include Lorraine Barksdale and Bonnie Carbonell.

Some of the benefits of volunteering are that you keep busy and productive. “You develop friendships with others by working side by side,” Marcy said. These friendships are additionally cultivated through outside activities such as attending events and luncheons together. And, each year the library honors the volunteers at a large springtime luncheon.

To volunteer, email the Volunteer Services Coordinator, or call (714) 375-5114. Training and mentoring are provided.

History of Used Books

The early years

The Friends of the Library (FOTL) has been selling books for more than 20 years. In the early days, the books were being sold in the organization’s old Gift Shop. Selling used books started small but quickly grew into two big, annual sales in the 1990s. For one week twice a year, chaos reigned in the buying and selling of books!! Volunteers who worked these sales recall that books would be brought up in boxes from the basement to be displayed on long flat ables. The arrival of each new box resulted in a flurry of activity--vendors buying hundreds of titles and regular patrons filling their paper bags with books to read for months.

2006 – A Permanent Home

As FOTL grew, the organization progressed to a much more organized way of doing business. The present 2,100 square foot space on the main floor of the Library was turned over to the FOTL to be its Used Books area. This popular space (a 75’x28’area) is the public face of the organization’s large operation which includes a spacious area on the lower level that is used to receive, sort, price and categorize donations. This expansion occurred in the fall of 2006. The current setup with bookshelves and display cases is the result of lots of work and foresight by one of our board members at that time, Dee San Marchi. She played a leadership role in reorganizing our workspace downstairs.

Behind the Scenes

This “behind-the-scenes” office space is similar to a stock room. It becomes a beehive of activity each week day as volunteers bring in large bins of donated books that are individually examined. Of the many items donated, several veteran volunteers tell of finding a number of very valuable items in the donation boxes. For example, there was an autographed book that was researched for its value on the Internet. The book was worth $7,500. Proceeds from this and other sales goes into purchasing new books for the Library. Currently, Becky Roepke,  is the person in charge of the Used Books area. FOTL has had a number of outstanding leaders in charge of the Used Books area including Helen Lotaki, Mary Morgan and Lorraine Barksdale and Marcy Long.


Used Book Inventory

Wondering what you will find in the Used Books area? The hardback books are divided into categories such as Latest Fiction, Art, HowTo, Humor & Media, Religion, English, Education, Sociology, Crafts and Needlework, Reference, Sports, Travel, Gardening, Vintage, Science, Math, Foreign Language, Health, Psychology, History, Law, Computer, Cooking, Literature, Biography, Business, Bargain Fiction, Teen, Children, DVDs, computer games and music on CDs, magazines, vinyl records, box puzzles and audio books.

And, of course there are paperbacks in a variety of subjects including mystery, science fiction, fiction, romance, etc.

At any given time there are more than 5,000 paperbacks on the shelves ranging in price from 25 cents to $3.00! Because newly-received books are added to the shelves three times a week, we encourage readers to visit us weekly to check out the fresh inventory.

Other special items in the Used Books area are kept in three large glass cases. These displayed items include rare and valuable books and collectibles. Recently there was a collections of dolls in the original boxes. There are also numerous art pieces that have been donated. Be sure to look at those special items because they can make great gifts for the collector.

Books Wanted!

FOTL needs books to keep the Used Books area in business. We accept all books and go through them to determine their age and condition.

Bring your items to the Central Library and dropped off in the bin located inside the Library during regular business hours.

Donation receipts are available at each of the drop-off locations.

Book donations are also accepted at all library branches.

The FOTL accepts donations of books, media (CDs, DVDs, records), art, and collectibles. We do not accept cassettes or VHS.


Sorry, we do not pick up donations.

Some donated books, paperbacks and magazines that are out-of-date are given to the local Assistance League or other organizations.

Books that do not meet our criteria are recycled.


Photo Album of Used Book Area

Volunteers Needed

The Used Book Sales area is operated and staffed by Volunteers and is always in need of additional help.

To volunteer, email the Volunteer Services Coordinator, or call (714) 375-5114. Training and mentoring is provided.