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  • Writer's pictureTisha Dolton

Book Sales: The First 25 Years of the Friends of Crandall Public Library

The Friends of Crandall Public Library have been hosting book sales for about as long as they have been in existence. Started in Spring 1951, this year marks their 70th anniversary. So, let's take a look at the newspaper & a glance through the collections in the Folklife Center.

May 28, 1952, The Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY)

One of the first book sales was held on May 27, 1952 on the lawn in City Park. Novels, history, religion & philosophy were just some of the types of books available for a dime.

The Post-Star reported the success of the book sale the following day.

"Book lovers who poured over the collection apparently found just what they wanted in some of the volumes, because they snapped them up quickly."

The book sale committee was led by Mrs. George I. Davis, who was assisted by James Cronkhite, Mrs. A. Herbert DeLong, Pamela Doty, Mrs. Donald C. Hallenback, Herbert Hopfan, Mrs. Karl Sand, Mrs. E.A. Willis, Paul Woodcock, and Florence Wilmarth.

Florence Durgin Wilmarth (1879-1968) was the wife of furniture store owner, funeral director & embalmer, Martin L.C. Wilmarth. She volunteered with the American Red Cross during the Spanish Influenza pandemic, was a member of the Glens Falls Club of College Women, and was an active suffragist with the Glens Falls Political Equality Club. She is buried in the Wilmarth family plot in Glens Falls Cemetery.

In an article a dated May 3, 1952 , librarian J. Thatcher Sears commended the newly formed Friends which was in the midst of a membership drive, as well as planning the book sale.

"The Friends of Crandall Library have contributed to the welfare of the Library in many ways since forming last Spring... Such an organization can be of tremendous value to the Library and through it, to the community. We hope that the Friends' membership campaign will receive the support it deserves."

Book sales take a lot of time, effort, and planning. Seen below, the 1974 Book Sale planning committee is hard at work in the Hoopes Room. Left to right are S. Eli Goldsmith (Treasurer), Ginny Abbe (President), Tina Stearns, and Jim Lichiello (Chairman). Photographed by Carl Atiyeh.

Advertisement in The Post-Star, May 31, 1962. Books Wanted! Give your used books to Friends of the Crandall Library Book Sale. Tomorrow June 1st (1962) at the library 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Book sale advertisement in The Post-Star, May 31, 1962

Thousands of books, LPs, DVDs, cassettes, CDs, puzzles and more have been donated and sold over the years. Funds have been used for everything from new drapes and furniture in the 1950s to live concerts with international musicians in the 2010s.

So please come out on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 from 1-4 PM in City Park and support the first Friends of Crandall Public Library Book Sale in nearly a year. This sale will focus on Kids & Teens books and materials as we kick off the 2021 Summer Reading Program: Tails & Tales.



Resources used to write this post include, the Crandall Public Library Photograph Collection, 1863-2000 & the biographical vertical files held in the Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library.


Tisha Dolton is Librarian/Historian at The Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, NY. Her areas of interest are suffrage music, suffragists of Warren and Washington Counties, local women and minority populations, and embroidery.

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