Both a literature lover’s dream and incredible non-profit organization, Friends of the Stockton Public Library is a local gem that is chalked full of great reads and loads of heart. The used bookstore is nestled in the heart of North Stockton at Parkwoods Shopping Center and was initially created to help raise funds for the building of the Caesar Chavez Library. It has since, however, turned into a freestanding, non-profit entity that gives back to the community in more ways than one.
All proceeds from the bookstore go toward funding the many community programs that the Stockton library provides at what will soon be 15 different locations. These programs include everything from after school events, to lectures, classes, and a multitude of other extra-curricular activities. According to manager Shannon Spohn, the store also does what it can to help other community partners, such as donating books to St. Mary’s Dining Hall and other organizations that may be in need. But the contributions of Friends of the Stockton Public Library span far beyond donations.
“The store itself is such an asset to the community because it’s very affordable books, well organized, and has a knowledgeable staff,” said volunteer Sara Russell.
Alongside the bookstore’s three-person staff, a slew of over 50 community members volunteer each week to keep the store running. Additionally, it is community donations that make up the majority of the store’s inventory.
“We rely entirely on donations,” said Shannon. “Ninety percent of our books I’d say are from donations from the Stockton community, and many people that come in and buy books bring them back in for donation. It’s very sustainable.”
With a steady stream of generous donations coming in, Friends of the Stockton Public Library is the largest and most diverse used bookstore in the area. They also have unbeatable prices.
“We have extremely low prices and we do that to make it more inclusive,” said Shannon. “We want it to be a good community reference, a resource for people to be able to come and buy books on a fixed budget, or for their classroom, their children. We want to include everyone.”
Truly the perfect stop for students, parents, teachers, and bookworms on a budget, the aptly named bookstore is not only a friend to the local libraries, but the Stockton community as a whole.
Be sure to follow their social media at @stocktonfriendsbookstore