Sunday, July 31, 2016

Our other big sale...

Recent feedback on the George Mason Friends' Amazon online bookstore.

While you are waiting for our next huge, semi-annual book sale,(beginning September 29), you can still get great deals on high-quality books by browsing our Amazon store.  You can save on shipping for any purchase from our Amazon Store by picking your order up at George Mason Regional Library. To do so, contact us at 703-813-6616 or before placing your order. 

In our Amazon store we offer time-sensitive books that we don't want to store until our next sale, such as text books and the latest best-sellers.  We also offer books on subjects that are not normally purchased at our sales, such as books for teachers and educators, some collectible volumes, and unusual niche-market items.

Examples of books recently offered in the George Mason Friends Amazon bookstore.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

George Mason Friends Supports the Summer Reading Program

This young reader gives Summer Reading
Challenge a big thumbs up!

One of the biggest contributions the George Mason Friends makes every year is to the Fairfax County Summer Reading Challenge.  Thanks to our generous book donors and enthusiastic customers, we were able to donate $50,000 to the program for 2016.

These programs, which Fairfax County Libraries hosts in partnership with Fairfax county Public Schools, are important to foster a love of reading and to help kids maintain their reading schools over the summer. Last year, more than 54,000 young library patrons, from birth through high school, participated in the program, and we're expecting to sign up at least that number again this year.

In addition to reading challenges, older aspiring authors and artists can compete for prizes in the Teen Cover Art contest and the Essay and Poetry Contest for a chance to win $100. Students in rising grades 7-9 are eligible to enter. The contest ends September 3.

Challenge accepted! Filling in his
reading log.
Throughout the summer the library schedules performances for kids, teens and families at all branches. These events provide fun, free entertainment and learning opportunities while also promoting reading and our program. It works like magic! – The Summer Reading Challenge remains popular year after year.

For more information about everything the summer reading program has to offer, visit -- or just turn off your screens, load the kids in the car, and head to your local library!
Library staff visit local schools to get kids excited about summer reading.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Check Those Pages Before Your Donate!

A sampling of items found in George Mason Friends book donations.
Among the treats of volunteering with the George Mason Friends is discovering some of the curious things people have tucked in books, and then forgotten. Despite this entertainment, though, we'd much prefer you keep your family treasures!
This photo shows just a few of the things discovered between the pages of donations: photos, post cards, and a 1940s-era certificate for participation in a school savings program. We also find charming bookmarks, little religious mementos, notes, and magazine and newspaper clippings (by the way, newspapers are terrible for books, because acids in the paper stain the book pages over time). Also, once in a great while, we find money. 
When we come across family photos, we put them out on top of the donation bin in the hopes that the donor will claim them on their  next visit to the library. On the rare occasion when we find a notable amount of money, we make a reasonable attempt to track down the rightful owner, but usually there is little indication of who the donor is. If we cannot identify the previous owner, the money becomes a donation to the George Mason Friends.
So please, make sure all your donations are intentional! Put the dollar bill you used as a bookmark back in your wallet, and add those family photos to the shoebox for the album you'll get around to someday. 

Your Donations Fund Important Library Programs!

Browsing books at the
Spring 2016 sale.
Let's be honest. When we're at the big semi-annual book sale, are we really thinking about where the sale's proceeds will go? Well, maybe if we need to rationalize a little, as in, "I don't really need another stack of novels, but it's supporting a great cause, so really, I should buy it. Right?"

But you should be curious, because seeing where the George Mason Friends distribute these proceeds will remind you of what a truly wonderful resource we have here at George Mason and throughout Fairfax County. And whether you buy books, donate them, or volunteer, you should be proud of the role you play in keeping that resource strong!

What follows is a summary of what George Mason Friends' funds support. In upcoming posts, we will go into a few of them in more detail.

Library staff help kids sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge
  • The Fairfax County Summer Reading Program, which encourages children and teens to read for pleasure during summer vacation.
  • Children, teen and adult programs held at the George Mason Regional Library. Browse the schedule, and you'll be amazed at the diversity of offerings, from story times to internet assistance to yoga classes.
  • Fall for the Book, a week-long, regional literary festival held at George Mason University, Fairfax County Libraries, and other local sites. This year, the festival runs from September 25-Friday, September 30.
    Chef Joe Yonan leads a
    cooking demonstration.

  • The Fairfax County Library Foundation Jubilee, an annual celebration of our libraries and the Foundation's primary fundraiser for county library programs like Changing Lives Through Literature, which gives first-time juvenile offenders an alternative to formal court action, and Ready to Read Early Literacy Outreach, which brings interactive reading experiences to preschool students.
  • The Fairfax County Library Foundation Scholarship Program, which awards four different scholarships annually to enhance the skills and talents of current or future library staff and volunteers in Fairfax County.
  • George Mason Regional Library support for special purchases, such as the tables and chairs in the meeting room, re-upholstery of the library's club chairs, and special cases such as the one used to display Hot Picks and Staff Picks and the various theme displays.
  • George Mason Gardeners, the volunteers who plant and maintain the beautiful flower beds around the library.
  • Grants to the Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Jefferson community branch FCPL libraries.
  • George Mason Regional Library staff support for things like professional development opportunities and recognitions.

We are able to do all of this because of your purchases and donations. If you would like to do more, we are always looking for volunteers to process donations, do publicity, and staff the book sales. Please email us at or call 703-813-6616.