Friends of the Pima County Public Library is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that is dedicated to supporting and enhancing Tucson library services and programs.
Founded in 1969, the organization was created by a group of avid library advocates who wanted to promote a love of reading in our community.
Much of the organization’s funding comes from Used Book Sales that are held at their main location – affectionately referred to as The Book Barn. If you are an avid reader, book collector, or educator, you will love the 5,000 square foot warehouse of books at rock-bottom prices!
You can also opt to become a member to receive special discounts, invitations to member-only sales, and the satisfaction that you are helping to build a more literate and educated city.
Read on for upcoming dates, top tips, and information about how you can get more involved with the organization.
Where is the Book Barn located?
The Book Barn is located in midtown Tucson at 2230 N. Country Club Road (between Pima and Grant). The main offices of the organization are also at this location.
What are the dates for upcoming used book sales?
- April 21-24, 9:00am-3:00pm
- May 20, 8:00am-12:00pm (MEMBERS-ONLY Mini Sale)
- May 27-28, 8:00am-12:00pm (COMMUNITY MINI SALE)
- May 29, 8:00am-12:00pm (Special Holiday Bag Day)
Community sales are typically held on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays between 9:00am and 3:00pm.
- Friday– Regular Price
- Saturday– 25% off for experienced readers (55+ years)
- Sunday– 50% for all
- Monday– $10 Bag Day (Friends’ bags)
There are also Mini Monsoon Sales held in the summer months with shorter hours, 8:00am-12:00pm. For the full schedule, check the Friends of the Pima County Public Library website.
What days of the community book sales tend to be most and least crowded?
The mornings (all days) are the busiest times. Saturday afternoons tend to be slowest so that is probably a good choice if you prefer a more leisurely shopping experience.
How exactly does Bag Day work? Can I bring my own bag?
On Bag Days (the Monday of the 4-day community sales), it’s $10 to FILL UP one of the Friends of the Pima County Public Library Blue Bags. See photo in our slideshow below. Blue bags are available for purchase at the Book Barn for $1 and can be re-used at future sales.
Is the Book Barn open to the public outside the sale dates?
No. The Book Barn is only open during scheduled sales.
How much do the books cost?
Most books tend to be priced in the $.50 to $5.00 range. A bargain!
What is the parking situation?
There are ~65 parking spaces outside and behind The Book Barn. Parking is free.
There are also two bike racks if you prefer to cycle to the sale.
What should I bring with me?
- Cash/credit card for buying books, movies, CDs, records, etc.
Are bathrooms available?
Yes, there is an accessible porte-john available.
Is the Book Barn wheelchair-accessible?
All this book shopping has made us hungry. Where do you recommend that we dine near the Book Barn?
There are a plethora of outstanding dining options in the area! Our top picks within 2 miles are:
- Bobo’s Restaurant, 2938 E. Grant Rd. (0.1 miles away) – breakfast, diner style fare, early bird special before 8:00am
- Kingfisher Bar & Grill, 2564 E. Grant Rd. (0.4 miles away) – lunch, dinner, desserts, late nights, oyster bar, extensive wine list
- Blue Willow Restaurant, 2616 N. Campbell Ave (1.1 miles away) – breakfast, lunch, dinner, year round patio dining
- Rincon Market, 2513 E. 6th St (1.5 miles away) – salad bar, sandwiches, soup
- Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, 446 N. Campbell Ave #100 (1.8 miles away) – coal-fired brick oven pizza, calzones
- Prep & Pastry, 3073 N. Campbell Ave (1.9 miles away) – breakfast, lunch, cocktails, mimosas, locally sourced ingredients
How much does membership cost?
There are several different categories of membership to consider.
- BOOKWORM $20/year – Individual Membership
- BOOK LOVERS $30/year – Family Membership
- BIBLIOPHOLE $50/year – Includes Friends Coffee Mug
- BOOK COLLECTOR $100/year – Includes Friends Book Bag
- LITERATI $150/year – Includes Friends Book Bag and Coffee Mug
- CONSERVATOR $250 one time payment – Ages 65+, Includes Friends Book Bag and Coffee Mug, Recognition As Life Member on Plaque in Sales Building
- RESERVE LIST $500 one time payment – Under Age 65, Includes Friends Book Bag and Coffee Mug, Recognition As Life Member on Plaque in Sales Building
Most or all of your membership fee is tax-deductible.
What are the perks of membership?
- tax-deductible membership
- a powerful collective voice advocating for the library
- advance notice of sales
- members-only shopping day at the book sales
- friends newsletters
- discounted price of attendance at Friends’ annual meeting
- enhanced programs and services at the library because of Friends support
- the satisfaction of promoting literacy and the joy of learning in our community
BABIES & KIDS
Can I bring my kids to the Used Book Sales?
Absolutely! There is a special corner just for children’s books and your little ones will likely enjoy browsing the titles. Note that the sales sometimes do get crowded. This isn’t exactly a “sit-down-and-read” bookstore cafe atmosphere. ;)
Should I bring a stroller?
The aisles are a bit tight and can get crowded. A baby carrier would probably be a better option.
Are there changing tables in the restrooms?
Is there somewhere to sit down and feed my baby?
Unfortunately, seating options are limited. During nicer weather, there is comfortable seating on the patio for a quiet retreat.
What about my other “baby” (cat, dog, etc.)?
Pets are not permitted inside the Book Barn.
How can I volunteer with the Friends of the Pima County Public Library?
Volunteers are “the heart and soul of the Friends.” There are numerous roles to fill – greeters, readers, cashiers, scanners, sorters, pricers, community advocates, and MORE.
There is an orientation session on the first Monday of each month at 9:00am, which usually last about 2 ½ hours. Please call 520-795-3763 or [email protected] register and verify time and date (may be moved to accommodate holidays).
Can my child or teen volunteer with me?
Older children (ages 12-15) can work alongside their parent(s). Ages 16 and up can work alone after receiving training.
Is Friends of the Pima County Public Library active on social media?
What else do I need to know before I go to a used book sale at the Book Barn?
- Book Barn GIFT CARDS are available for purchase! The pretty white and blue cards are a lovely local gift idea for any Tucsonan who enjoys reading.
- There are wagons available to help you transport your books to your car.
- Teachers who are members of Tucson Values Teachers receive 25% off anytime (must present ID card).
- DO consider membership if you regularly frequent the public library and/or want to spread the love of reading. It’s an inexpensive and important way to support our city’s libraries.