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Treasure 36: Aberdeen City Libraries' First Book Sale, 24 February 1979
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Treasure 36: Aberdeen City Libraries' First Book Sale, 24 February 1979

Historic Photographs
Léa Moreau
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Treasure 36: Aberdeen City Libraries' First Book Sale, 24 February 1979
Historic Photographs
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Treasure 36: Aberdeen City Libraries' First Book Sale, 24 February 1979
National Libraries Day has been held every February since 2011 to celebrate and raise awareness of libraries, library staff and their communities all over the UK. It is an opportunity for libraries to showcase and promote what they have to offer and to attract as many visitors as possible to local libraries.

This month our selection from the Library archive brings the focus to a Library event the likes of which has never been seen before or since in Aberdeen City Libraries. The photograph shows the queue for the first ever Library book sale held in the Ballroom of the Music Hall on Saturday 24 February 1979, when well over a thousand people swarmed through the doors to grab a bargain. The Press and Journal covered the event with the headline: "Bonanza Day for Bookworms; bargain hunters pack the Music Hall".

In September 1978 the Aberdeen District Council's library committee agreed to a recommendation from City Librarian Peter Grant to hold a sale of more than 30,000 books which had been withdrawn from stock for various reasons. There was also considerable duplication of stock following local government re-organisation in 1975 when Aberdeen inherited six former county branch libraries.

Books were divided into three categories: Children's, Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction (including reference books) and prices were kept low at 20p for fiction books and non-fiction titles slightly more at 50p.

Best sellers included children's books purchased by play groups, out of date encyclopaedias and Whittaker's Almanacs, and bound volumes of National Geographic Magazine. By the end of the day, the event was deemed an overwhelming success, selling over 13,000 books and raising more than £3645 for the purchase of new stock.

The hard work and dedication of the Library staff was recognised by the Convener of the Library Committee Councillor Henry Rae who said "It turned out to be a resounding success and this was achieved by the dedication of the staff".
National Libraries Day, Aberdeen Libraries
Press and Journal
2. Copyright known - held by third party
TR07_21
Aberdeen Local Studies
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