University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries

Community Members

Spring for More Books!: The Friends Semiannual Book Sale

If you love books, you won’t want to miss the upcoming Friends of the UW–Madison Libraries Book Sale! With more than 15,000 books to choose from, this is the largest used book sale in Wisconsin. The sale is open to the public and held in Room 116 Memorial Library, 728 State Street in Madison. Last year there was a line out the door on opening day for all the fantastic finds!

Sale Dates and Hours

  • Wednesday, March 26, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Preview Sale, $5 entry fee)
  • Thursday, March 27 and Friday, March 28, 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Regular Sale, no entry fee)
  • Saturday, March 29, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Bag Sale, $4 per bag) Bring grocery-sized bags to fill or buy one for $1.
  • Saturday, March 28, 1:05 – 2:00 p.m. All remaining books are free!
  • Prices are reduced each day of the sale, but the items sell quickly. So shop early and shop often!
Pick up an arm load of books and fund a worthy cause!

Pick up an arm load of books and fund a worthy cause!

Rich Subject Areas

The Friends Book Sale offers a wide variety of subjects. Featured in this particular sale are special collections of American political biography, archeology, film studies, mathematics, Russian language and culture, current fiction, primate studies, and philosophy. Other areas include children’s books, American studies, world languages, music, cooking, physical and biological sciences, computer science, political science, law, education, travel, self-help, reference, business, religion, engineering and much more. There are also maps, DVDs, CDs, and vintage LPs!

How Your Purchase Helps

Articles in recent Friends Newsletters highlight examples of how book sale revenues help to fund the acquisition of new materials,”Adventures of a Library Bibliographer“; preserve existing materials, “A New Beginning for University Archives Film Collection“; and help visiting scholars who come for the remarkable collections, “Grants-in-Aid Scholar Uses the Library of Amateur Journalism of Special Collections.

The Friends website also publishes a current list of grants given to libraries for material purchases, preservation supplies, and digitization projects.

Friends of UW–Madison Libraries

Each sale takes nearly 60 volunteers to manage, and draws students, faculty, and the general public from around the Midwest. Books are donated by UW faculty, staff, and students, as well as many Madison-area residents. The sales help fund special purchases for the UW Libraries’ collections, book conservation and preservation, grants for visiting scholars,  a Friends annual lecture series and other special events open to the public. The Friends accept book donations for upcoming sales on a continual basis and such donations are tax-deductible.

For more information about the book sale or donating books, go to the Friends website, email friends@library.wisc.edu or call 608-265-2505.

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