Some friends of the Columbus Metropolitan Library want your books.

Some friends of the Columbus Metropolitan Library want your books.

A group known as Friends of the Library, which supports the library in various functions, is holding an event it's calling the Big Book Drive in support of its annual Big Book Sale.

The drive goes through the end of September. Books and other gently used media items can be dropped off at any Columbus library branch. It's the first time the group has sought public donations specifically for the Big Book Sale.

Lara Oliver, a member of FOL, said the library will accept items including audio books, movies and music. There is particular interest in non-fiction works, textbooks, records, antique books and encyclopedias published before 1940 or after 2005.

She said magazines and similar publications do not sell well at the book sale.

More than 30 years old, the Big Book Sale is FOL's major fundraiser for the year. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 16-17 at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 96 S. Grant Ave. A presale event for members of FOL will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 15.

"It's an extremely well-known sale for bibliophiles -- it's really quite impressive," said Doug Motz, Big Book Sale coordinator. "It's great and fantastic to get books into the hands of lots and lots of people."

Most items that the library is parting with were earmarked for the sale because of wear and tear.

"We actually have a warehouse in our basement of books we can utilize," Motz said.

One of the highlights of the events is the annual bag sale, held during the last two hours of the book sale. Those attending can purchase a brown paper bag filled with various items for $5.

"That's always pretty wild," Motz said, adding that any items not sold are recycled.

Formed in the late 1970s, FOL raises money for library programming such as summer reading clubs and homework help centers.

Motz said FOL's least known contribution is its most important. The group leads levy campaigns for the library system.

Oliver said in the past few years, the group has raised more than $50,000 annually.

"All the profits gets funneled into thing what the library does on a regular basis," Motz said. "With the state budget being cut, these kinds of fundraising efforts are extremely important."

dcross@thisweeknews.com