Thanks to tireless Friends of the LSU Libraries volunteers, the Book Bazaar has been a popular annual event in the Baton Rouge community for nearly forty years, providing important support to the Libraries. The next Book Bazaar will take place March 20-22 in the 4-H Mini-Farm and Nelson Memorial Buildings on the LSU Campus. Hours are:
Thursday, March 20: 9 a.m to 7 p.m.
Friday, March 21: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 22: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The annual event began in the spring of 1976 under the oaks near the LSU Union. This first sale was a trial run, but after raising $500, the Friends were convinced it was a viable way to support the LSU Libraries. Less than six months later, they held the second bazaar at Bon Marche Mall, raising an impressive $7000.
Members of the Friends of the LSU Libraries never looked back, and the sale continues to grow each year. When the group needed storage for donated books, the “Book Barn” was born. Originally housed in Hill Memorial Library, the contents quickly outgrew the available space and the Book Barn moved to the basement of Middleton Library. Today, the Book Barn is located at 3555 River Road, where books are processed for the sale and text books are made available there year round in the Friends’ Book Barn Bookstore.
By 1983, the Book Barn was processing 50,000 books annually and the Book Bazaar was earning more than $30,000 each year. In 1984, the Friends were given access to LSU’s 4-H Mini-Farm for the sale, and with continuing support from the LSU AgCenter, the current Book Bazaar fills the Mini-Farm as well as the Nelson Memorial Building on the LSU campus.
The largest sum raised to date was $85,000 in 2010, and no less than $63,000 has been netted in recent years. One of the goals of the founding Friends group was to establish an endowment for the LSU Libraries, which was accomplished. In 1974, the LSU Libraries’ Endowment stood at $15,000. Today, the value of the endowment is greater than $1.8 million. Monies earned at the Book Bazaar have steadily added to the value of the endowment.
Experience this sale yourself! Plan to attend the 2014 Friends of the LSU Libraries Book Bazaar on March 20, 21 and 22, 2014 in the 4-H Mini-Farm and Nelson Auditorium on LSU’s beautiful campus. You won’t be disappointed!