Each year, hundreds of book lovers from the Clark University community and beyond browse and hunt for bargains at the Friends of Robert Hutchings Goddard Library book sale. On Sept. 28 and 29, the Friends also celebrated the 40th year of this venerable tradition.
Visitors to the Academic Commons gleaned finds from among more than 7,000 books offered for sale – from 50-cent paperbacks to unique hardcovers for $25. A special set sold for $30.
Learn more about the Friends and upcoming public programs
The library accepts book donations year-round at the Circulation Desk. The annual sale includes all categories of donations and sales benefit the Friends, said Mott Linn, the Goddard Library’s Head of Collections Management.
“Every year, hundreds of people buy books from us, and many of the same make donations. Because of our longevity, we are well known and the sale is always eagerly anticipated,” Linn said. “This year, we were especially happy to recognize the many familiar people who contribute, volunteer, and shop the sale each year.”
One such loyal Friend is Bob Bradbury, an emeritus professor of health administration at Clark’s Graduate School of Management (GSOM), who has never missed a sale in all the 40 years, Linn noted. “Bob works year-round on the sale. He helps organize the donations. He decides which books to individually price and prices them. He works throughout the sale,” Linn added. “The sale would not be viable without the volunteer work that Bob and the other Friends of the Goddard Library contribute.”
This year, the Friends installed James Dempsey as president. Dempsey (M.A. '78) is an instructor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and author of "The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer." He also has taught writing at Clark.
"The book sale raises money for the Friends of the Goddard Library, puts affordable books in the hands of students, faculty, and people in the community who all love books, and brings together the communities of college and city,” Dempsey said. “This much-anticipated event has become a Clark and a Worcester tradition. It is also just plain fun."
The Friends of Robert Hutchings Goddard Library at Clark University was established in 1972. Their goal is “to provide and attract new financial support to enrich the basic collections and activities of the Goddard Library.” These efforts also provide and attract special collections, rare books, manuscripts, and other library resources; provide support for the Goddard Collection; sponsor special projects or programs; provide a more thorough understanding of the Goddard Library and its role in Clark's future; and serve as a medium through which persons can advance their own intellectual pursuits and share their enthusiasm for books.
Pictured at top: Mott Linn, Head of Collections Management at the library; long-time volunteer and emeritus Professor Bob Bradbury; and James Dempsey, new FGL president, take a brief pause during preparations for the Friends of the Goddard Library Book Sale. This was the 40th year for the event, which draws hundreds of bargain-hunting book lovers from the Clark community and beyond.