Association of University Women members bound to boost book sal

October 02, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

Association of University Women members bound to boost book sale

Dottie Cochrane and Louise Abdullah's loyalty to the Hagerstown AAUW chapter is one for the books.

For 37 years, the two members of the American Association of University Women have worked tirelessly for the organization's biggest annual fund-raiser, the AAUW Used Book Sale.

Throughout the year, Cochrane, Abdullah and other AAUW volunteers meet in a room in the basement of the library.

There they sort, price and box books in preparation for the annual spring sale.

"In the spring of 2000, we netted $27,634 through the sale of 50,000 books," said Cochrane. Every year since the sale began in 1963, both numbers have grown.

A large chunk of that money each year goes to the Washington County Free Library, Hagerstown Community College and to AAUW scholarships. Other funds are distributed where there is a need.


The book sale was devised as a one-time event to help with the 1963 fund drive for a new Washington County Free Library building at its current location of 100 S. Potomac St.

That year, $1,200 was raised from the sale of 10,000 books out of a little building that once sat between the former library on Summit Avenue and the Nicodemus Bank, now Allfirst, Abdullah said.

Patterned after the Vassar College book sale in Washington, D.C., the local sale was such a success it became a biennial event.

The goal the second year was to raise funds for the new library at Hagerstown Community College, which had just moved to the Robinwood Drive campus.

The sale became an annual event and moved in 1973 to the Washington Center on Pennsylvania Avenue. That site was quickly outgrown, leading to some unhappy customers.

One of those who had to wait for a person to leave so he could get in was the then-secretary of the Hagerstown Fair Board, Cochrane said.

"He suggested we approach the Hagerstown Fair Board for space and we did," she said.

That site was by far the most popular, with free parking, few expenses and lots of space for books. "We could even drive the trucks right into the building to unload the books," Abdullah said.

Lines would form as early as 6 a.m. the first day.

The Fairgrounds were shut down several years ago, forcing the AAUW to crowd into a downtown storefront for one year while a new site was scouted.

For the last several years, the sale has been held at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center ... roomy enough, but about six miles south of Hagerstown along the Sharpsburg Pike.

"Some people don't like having to go that far," Cochrane said.

Special events such as bag sales attract customers. And in recent years, rare and unusual books and publications have been sold by bid, raising extra money.

The spring 2001 sale will be April 25-29.

For information on how and where to donate books, call Joanne Jones at 301-739-3101.

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