Tips for Running a Library Bookstore

Running a library bookstore is a great way to support your library and bring people together around books. Here’s how you can make your Friends of the Library bookstore a success:

Know Your Customers: Find out what types of books people in your area like. Do they read more fiction or nonfiction? What about children’s books? Putting out books that match their interests can help you sell more.

Keep It Organized: Make sure your bookstore is easy to browse. Put books into categories like fiction, nonfiction, and kids’ books. Have a special place for new books and bestsellers.

Set the Right Prices: Find a balance with your book prices. You want them to be affordable but also want to make some money for the library. Look at prices for used books and have sales or discounts sometimes. If you have a book sale, offer Friends of the Library members an early bird discount to encourage membership.

Make It Welcoming: Create a nice space for your bookstore. Add comfortable chairs, good lighting, and maybe some decorations. Make a little area where people can sit and look at books if you can.

Rely on Volunteers: You’ll need a team of dedicated and dependable volunteers to run the store, sort books, and help customers. Make sure they know how to provide good service and keep things organized.

Get the Word Out: Use newsletters, social media, and local bulletin boards to tell people about your bookstore. Share information about special events, new books, and interesting finds.

Host Events: Events like book signings, readings, or themed sales can make your bookstore more interesting. The’re great ways to attract new people and keep regulars coming back.

Check Your Stock: Look at your books regularly. If some aren’t selling, it might be time to replace them with different ones. You can also sell slightly damaged books at a discount.

Accept Donations Wisely: Since a lot of your books will come from donations or library discards, have a clear system for accepting them. Decide what types of books you want and how to sort and price them.

Listen to Feedback: Pay attention to what customers and volunteers say. They can give you good ideas on how to improve. Being open to change can help your bookstore grow.

Running a Friends of the Library bookstore is about more than just selling books. It’s about creating a space that supports reading and the library. It can be a lot of fun and an effective means of fundraising for the library.