Thank you for making the 2019 book sales so successful.
Due to Covid-19, all 2020 book sales have been canceled. Book donations are suspended until further notice at all Alexandria library branches. Please do not leave materials in the hallway or book return drop.
All information on this page about book sales or donations is superseded by the above announcement.
All items for sale have been donated by generous supporters like you (for our donation guidelines, please click here or scroll down). The money that the Friends raise at book sales pays for innovative programs, expanded collections and state-of-the-art technology that the Library could not afford otherwise.
Thank you to our generous community sponsors of the 2019 fall book sale: Irina Babb, Shirley Duke Shell, Signs by Tomorrow, London Curry House, Cameron Cafe, Shooter McGee’s, Tempo Restaurant, and four individual members of the Friends. Thank you.
Two Huge Books Sales Every Year
We hold two huge book sales every year where you can choose from over 30,000 books as well as CDs, DVDs, and audio books. Also, we hold smaller flash sales throughout the year. These sales focus on specialty areas like children's books, mysteries, or cookbooks. For your convenience, we accept credit cards, checks, and cash. Scroll down to read FAQs about the big Spring and Fall sales.
Members of the Friends of Beatley Central Library Shop First at Every Sale
Join or renew if you would like access to the exclusive members' preview that lets you shop a day ahead of the general public.
We Welcome Donations of Books, Audio Books, CDs, and DVDs in Good Condition, with Media Cases Intact.
Books and media that you donate to the library are sold at our book sales to raise money for Beatley. All donations need to be in good condition: clean, no water damage, mold free, odorless, pages whole, binding intact, and free of highlights, underlining, and notes. Please leave your donation by Beatley's circulation desk in the designated area. If you plan to donate more than eight boxes of books and media at one time, please call the library at 703-746-1702 or email [email protected] so that we can be ready to receive them.
Donations We Can Use
- Books - both Nonfiction and Fiction
- Textbooks - less than Five-Years Old
- Media - with Cases Intact
Materials we cannot use (please recycle instead):
We Need Book Sale Volunteers Year-Round
If you would like to volunteer sorting books, we would love to have you. If you like music, movies, and/or TV, we could use you to sort CDs and DVDs. We have a schedule for sorting in-coming donations with volunteer shifts of 2-3 hours in either the morning or the afternoon. If you cannot commit to sorting every week, but would be willing to fill in when people go on vacation, please let us know. To volunteer, please email [email protected] with your name, the day you would like to work, and an alternate day too. Be sure to include your phone number. We also rely on volunteers to seek in-kind donations, advertise the book sale, and coordinate the dates of Beatley's sales with other libraries in Northern Virginia. Please email if you could help.
Silent Auction Held Monthly for the Best Stuff
Every month we feature a great item that comes in as a donation, and we sell it via a silent auction. One of our past items was the coffee table book, "A Matter of Style: Intimate Portraits of 10 Women Who Changed Fashion" (2010)." You can see what's on offer in a glass case directly across from the circulation desk. Bid forms are there too. We also feature the item on the Friends' Facebook page.
The Last Sale Was a Success
Thank you for making our September 2019 Book Sale such a success. We raised a record-setting $30,494.75, and it all goes to support Beatley.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of things are for sale?
Hardback and larger format paperback books, children’s books, music CDs of many genres, recorded books, movie and self-help DVDs such as exercise programs. Some sales have specialty items such as sheet music, home schooling materials, and small gift books. All have been donated to the library by the public and sorted by volunteers, who ensure that materials at the sale are in good condition and reasonably current. Some are in like-new condition. There are thousands of titles available.
Where is the sale held?
Turn right inside the main library entrance. The checkout tables and shelves with media are in the hallway, and the main sale area is in the large meeting room at the end of the hall.
May I bring a stroller into the sale room?
The room is usually very crowded so strollers or carts must be left outside. Signs will indicate where strollers may be left. If you need assistance, one of the volunteers will show you the location.
Should I bring a shopping bag?
It’s very helpful to bring a sturdy tote bag or two to carry finds around the sale room as you continue browsing. The Friends have a tote available for sale for $3. It’s bright red with a Friends logo and made especially for carrying books.
How much do books cost?
Hardback books are $4, paperbacks are $2, and children's books are $1-3. CDs are $1 and DVDs are $3. Some special value books may cost more. The last day of the sale usually has a promotion with even greater savings.
How can I pay?
Sales volunteers can take cash, personal checks ($100 maximum) or credit cards (as long as the card has a chip).
Where does the money from book sales go?
One hundred percent of book sale income lets the Friends of Beatley Central Library support library programs and enhance library equipment and facilities.
How are things grouped? Will it be easy to find something specific?
Materials are grouped by broad categories such as novels, classics, or history and are clearly marked with tabletop signs. Sales volunteers can help you find books about specific subjects. The contents of any particular sale are dependent on donations from community members in the six months prior to the sale. Because of this, the number of books in any particular category may vary from sale to sale. Most sales have more than 25,000 books to choose from, so you are certain to find something you want to read.
Is there a best time to come to the sale?
Earlier times and days have the best selection. The display tables can only hold a fixed amount; further stock is added from storage as the sale progresses. It’s worth it to come a second time on a later day, as new books and media will be put out.
I’m a teacher for the City of Alexandria. Will there be anything special for us?
The Monday after the sale ends is our Teacher Appreciation Day. Bring your school ID and take any of the remaining books you want for your classroom for free. Non-profits are also invited that day to take books they can use.
I’m a Member of the Friends of the Beatley Central Library. Do we have any benefit related to the sales?
Members of the Friends have a special preview day, before the sale opens to the public and have first choice of all the books and media on sale.
Can I become a Member of the Friends on the preview day and take advantage of the early entrance to the sale?
Absolutely! Individual Memberships are $15 and Family Memberships are only $25. You can join at the Membership table in the entry to the library.
What happens to materials left over at the end of the sale?
Some will go onto remainder sale shelves in the hallway for a few weeks after the sale. Many are donated to various nonprofits and charities in Alexandria.