ITHACA, N.Y. –– After announcing the delay of their annual May sale due to coronavirus restrictions, the Friends of the Tompkins County Library has decided to move forward with the fundraiser in July with some precautionary health measures in place.

The sale will run over three weekends, July 4 to 6, July 11 to 13, and July 18 to 21. The warehouse at 509 Esty St. will be open on sale days at 11 a.m. and will close promptly at 7 p.m.

Monday, July 13, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. a special shopping time has been set aside for senior citizens and will not open to the public until mid-afternoon.

Attendance every day of the sale will be limited to 50 shoppers, just 20% of the book sale’s normal capacity. The sale is hoping to have a “line cam” with a live feed on their Facebook page to check out the wait to get in before deciding to go.

Face masks are required in the building, and book sale Director Kathy Weinberg say they’ve adopted a new cleaning schedule and plan to maximize ventilation.

“We’re taking special precautions to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” she said.

Additionally, at checkout volunteers will not touch customers’ books, a clear barrier will separate the customers and workers behind the checkout counter and markings have been made on the warehouse floor to ensure social distancing throughout the sale.

“Because customers will be so spread out, we’ll permit them to use their own carts, or use one of our shopping or library carts,” Weinberg said. “The carts may help with spacing”

Weinberg estimates that there will be almost 250,000 items for sale.

Books will be a steady price the first weekend, but during the second and third weekends the prices will drop sharply and the sale will end with two “Dime Days” (where books will be extremely discounted.) The last day will be a “Bag Day” where shoppers can pay a fixed rate for however many books can fit in their shopping bag.

Details on prices and more information about the sale is available on the Friends website.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at