Washburn library gets book shop

The Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library plan to open a used bookstore in the Washburn Community Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave. S.

The 600-square-foot store would open in late April, taking space now used to display tax forms, said John McCartin, the bookstore manager. The store would start with roughly 25,000 books and other sale items.

"Washburn is the busiest branch in the Minneapolis system," McCartin said. "We tested the market with a sale there about two months ago. It went very well. We got a lot of response and interest."

The Washburn store will supplement the existing Friends bookstore in the downtown Central Library, which sells used library books, audio and video materials and items donated by the public.

The bookstore sells items thinned from the library's collection due to disuse, McCartin said. It also sells last year's best sellers. The library overstocks best sellers when they first come out. As interest wanes, the library gives the Friends the surplus.

"They are in good shape, just a year older and not as desirable," McCartin said.

Books sell for between 50 cents and $5, McCartin said. All proceeds benefit the library system.

Central Library has moved to the interim location, 250 Marquette Ave., during construction of a new building, reducing traffic at the Friends downtown bookstore, McCartin said. That gave added incentive to open the Washburn store.

He did not know if the Washburn store would continue after the new Central Library opened, he said. "If it works out well, we will probably keep it permanent. That is more of a library decision," he said.

The Washburn Library store is tentatively set to open nine hours a week, Tu 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Th 2-5 p.m. and Sa 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Friends group seeks volunteers to help staff the store and donations for the shelves. Those interested should call McCartin at 630-6171.