ITHACA, N.Y. –– Donations have resumed for the annual Friends of the Tompkins County Library book sale which has been delayed indefinitely due to coronavirus.

Donations will be accepted Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. in the parking lot at 509 Esty Street. In case of inclement weather the first garage door of the Esty Street warehouse will be open to accept donations.

Donors are asked to stay in their cars until directed by staff to get out and bring their books to donations tables that are spaced throughout the lot to allow social distancing.

“We are going to set tables up in a horseshoe configuration in the inner area of our parking lot, so that cars can use the normal route through our parking lot, pull through to the farthest available table, unload their books, and leave through the exit,” book sale coordinator Kathy Weinberg said. “We also are letting our “category sorters” come back into the building to work in their sections this week.  We are limiting sorters to one person in each aisle segment (each aisle has a front, middle, and back segment) for social distancing.”

Weinberg said staff are sorting the books that came in before the coronavirus shut down in order to be ready as soon as feasible for an “as is” sale.  “Most sections were full, or almost full, so the intent of an “as is” sale is to sort those books already in boxes in the sections, organize and tidy up the shelves, and take any overflow to storage,” she said.

The hope Weinberg said, is to be able to hold a “slow” sale, which could happen as soon as several weeks from now. A slow sale will restrict the number of customers let in at any one time, by signups or lotteries, but open for more days to better serve all the people who want to shop.

The goal of the slow sale would be to sell the books collected before the lockdown in order to make space for an October sale, “hopefully with conditions as close as possible to our “old normal,”‘ Weinberg said.

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