The Friends of Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca will hold their annual Spring Book Sale over three long weekends in May, beginning Saturday, May 1, at 509 Esty St, Ithaca. In accordance with state and local mandates for COVID safety measures, face masks and social distancing will be required.  Attendance will be limited to 80 customers in the building at a time.

The sale will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 1–3, May 8–10, and May 15–18.  Prices start low and go down each weekend.  On the first Saturday, May 1, each shopper may purchase a maximum of 50 items each time they check out. After exiting, they can re-join the line to come in again and buy another 50 items throughout the day.  There are no purchase limits on all the other sale days.  

“Senior Day and People with Disabilities Day,” for shoppers age 60+ and anyone with a disability, is Wednesday, May 12, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Monday, May 17 is “Dime Day,” with all items just 10 cents each.  On “Bag Day,” Tuesday, May 18, patrons can fill a medium-sized grocery bag for just $1.00.

Offering over 250,000 gently used books, DVDs, CDs, puzzles, games and more donated by community members and libraries, the Friends’ Book Sale is one of the largest nonprofit book sales in the U.S.  The Collector’s Corner is home to some of the Sale’s most exciting offerings, including rare and antiquarian books, first editions, collectible vinyl records, artwork, ephemera, gift items, and vintage toys and games.

A special display at the May sale will feature thousands of topographic maps donated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as well as books about hiking and outdoor activities and map-themed puzzles and games. The USGS map collection covers almost all of New York State, and dates from the early 1900s through the 1970s, with most of the maps from the 1940s. Hundreds of individual titles are represented, with excellent coverage of the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Central New York regions. There also are maps from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Canada.

Proceeds from the Friends’ Book Sale fund the organization’s annual grants that support Tompkins County Public Library and other libraries in the Finger Lakes region, non-profit organizations for literacy and reading projects, and scholarships for students in library science programs. Go to for more information.

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