Cheney Free Press -

By Lee Hughes
Staff Reporter 

Friends of the Library holding annual book sale


Last updated 3/28/2019 at 5:52pm

The Medical Lake group Friends of the Library will be holding their semi-annual book sale at the Medical Lake Library, 321 East Herb Street, on Friday and Saturday, April 12-13 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

All proceeds from the sale go to support the library and its various programs and offerings.

Mary Seagrave, long-time library patron and chair of the group’s book sale effort, said the Friends of the Library mission is to encourage reading and literacy in the community. The book sale does double duty in achieving that mission.

“I feel what we’re really doing is redistributing books,” she said of the sale.

You won’t find any price tags on the books at the event; no price lists. The entire book “sale” is actually donation-based.

People can come in, find a book, and make whatever donation they feel is appropriate, Seagrave said.

The group previously charged a per-book price, but changed to the donation model. The switch nearly doubled the event’s proceeds.

A family with kids and a tight budget can come in and get a bag of books, but maybe only donate a dollar, Seagrave said. Meanwhile, someone else will pick up only one book, but donate $20.

“It seems to work pretty well,” Seagrave said.

She noted that the goal isn’t just to make money to support the library — the effort goes way beyond that. The sale gets people into the library, some who might not otherwise come in.

“The goal is literacy and to get people to read,” she said.

The Medical Lake Library is one of 10 full-service libraries within the larger Spokane County Library District.

Because of the county library’s scale and connectivity, even smaller libraries pack a big punch that includes extensive resources that go far beyond books, according to Medical Lake Library Supervisor Cecelia McMullen.

There are multiple children’s programs — a good portion of the physical library is given to children’s books and activity areas — including a Dr. Seuss day.

Seagrave noted that on reading days the space is often “packed” with kids, who then play afterward.

For adults, a library cardholder can access a vast array of online databases and electronic information. McMullen, at a recent presentation before the Medical Lake City Council, shared a story of a mother desperate for entertainment for her brood of housebound children this winter. She called the library, which provided access to the system’s online resources, much to the mother’s relief.

Patrons can checkout e-books through Overdrive, an electronic book checkout system. Other digital information includes access to hobby and craft resources, electronic magazine and periodicals, scholarly databases such as EBSCO and ProQuest, and assistance with job hunting, resume building and interview skills — even job coaching.

The physical library offers rooms that can be reserved for various functions. The library has an official county election ballot drop-box, and helps people register to vote as well.

Friends of the Library has about 25 members. In addition to supporting the library the group holds a monthly book club that currently boasts between 16-18 members.

For a calendar of events at the Medical Lake Library to

For general information about library offerings, or Friends of the Library, go to, or call directly at 509-893-8330.

Lee Hughes can be reached at


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