That’s What Friends Are For

It’s impossible to navigate this world without friends. We all have them, we all need them. St. Thomas Public Library is no exception. We have friends too, a dedicated group of volunteers who go by the collective moniker – Friends of St. Thomas Public Library.

This committed group of volunteers raises money for the library through ticket sales to special events, raffles and, of course, the Friends’ book sales. You may have attended one of the Friends of the St. Thomas Public Library monthly sales in the past or perhaps one of the large Jumble Sales that have been held in June. The Friends volunteers sorted, priced, stacked and shelved materials (books, puzzles, board games, DVDs, CDs, VHS and cassette tapes) cramming  the Carnegie Room at the library on 153 Curtis St. full to overflowing with treasures at bargain prices.

Since the move to Elgin Mall the Friends monthly sales at St. Thomas Public Library have come to a halt, but no fear, the Friends have opened a store front here at the mall.  Open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm, the Library Friends Shop, located next to Ardene, is chock full of great buys. They stock the shelves with materials that have been generously donated by the public of St. Thomas.

Donations of materials are accepted at the Library Friends Shop and at both public library spaces in the mall (Adult Services is centrally located in the mall, where Trad’s Furniture store used to be and Children’s & Teens’ Services is located in the West end, next to Hallmark). Donations of gently used books, magazines, puzzles, DVDs, and CDs are greatly appreciated.

Once donations have been dropped off, library staff sort through them and decide if any of the titles can be used in the collection or for special library purposes. After the staff have made their selections the materials are taken to the Library Friends Shop where they are put in the back room to be sorted. Volunteers sort the material by category and author. The material is then either shelved, if needed, or boxed and stored to be displayed at a later date.

Volunteers work an average of 2 hours per week. Friends volunteer work consists of sorting materials, packing or shelving books, pricing, selling, handling cash and keeping the store tidy. All of the Friends volunteers are wonderful assets to the library and St. Thomas Public Library wouldn’t be the same without them.


Friends of St. Thomas Public Library LogoWe are currently in need of gently used puzzles and shelving.

We are always grateful to receive gently used books for all ages, magazines, DVDs and CDs.

We are not accepting text books, encyclopaedias or National Geographic magazines.

Price List

Hardcover books                              $2

Soft cover & paperbacks               $1.50

Children’s books                              $0.10 to $1

Magazines                                          $0.25 each or 5 for $1

VHS & cassette tapes                     $0.25

DVDs & CDs                                        $1

Don’t forget to visit St. Thomas Public Library at the Horton Farmer’s Market every Saturday for more great buys!

Suggestions from the internet on what to do with out-dated textbooks and encyclopaedias.

  • Roll the pages (if they’re not color printed) soak them in paraffin and they make great fire starters.
  • Don’t donate them. If you donate them, what you will in all probability be doing is forcing a charity (or cash-strapped government agency) to spend money storing the books for a brief period, sorting the books, and disposing of the books. If you must donate nearly-useless and totally unsellable items, also donate some amount of money with them to compensate the charity/agency for taking them off your hands.
  • Make furniture out of them! Take a stack of textbooks and use it as an end table. For a more stable structure, drill a hole in the centre of the books and place a wooden dowel/leg through the hole. Set a wooden slab, piece of glass or another book on top as the table top.
  • Use the pages to make your own homemade paper or ask the local school art departments if they’d like to use the pages for projects.


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