Friends of the Arlington Public Library

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Book Sales

The Friends hold two massive book sales annually at Arlington Central Library’s underground parking garage as well as smaller year-round sales at all library locations.

The fall 2017 book sale will be held Oct. 19-22.

You are welcome to come early on Thursday and line up for the book sale but be mindful that only a person may hold a spot in line. The garage gate opens at 10 a.m. Unattended items such as boxes, totes and bags will be removed from the line for security reasons.

Members Night Information

  • The sale is open Thursday to Active Members of FOAL only. If you do not have an active membership, you can obtain one the night of.
  • Only a person may hold a spot in line. The garage gate opens at 10 am on Thursday. Unattended items such as boxes, totes and bags will be removed from the line for security reasons and may not be used as line placeholders.
  • One line will be formed for all, current members and people interested in obtaining memberships.
  • A member from Friends of the Arlington Library board will walk down the line with the membership roll beginning at 3:30 PM to ensure everyone is signed up for membership. Therefore you do not lose your place in line to verify or establish your membership or to join or renew.
  • Those in line needing to join or renew their memberships will be given a form to complete to be returned to the line walker with payment
  • The sale begins at 5 pm sharp. We will cut off shopping at 8:45 and move everyone to the lines to begin the checking out process.
  • Please treat others in line and the FOAL volunteers with the respect that you expect for yourself. Security will be monitoring the gate. Each member will be given a card to be handed to security when entering.
  • Do not block the aisles with boxes or totes. Blocking the aisle is against fire code and a safety issue. A staging area for larger volume purchases is in the back corner next to trade fiction.
  • When you are ready to check out, please line up with all of your materials. You will be checked out as soon as possible. We accept cash, checks and credit cards. Checks can be made out to FOAL or Friends of the Arlington Library.
  • Keep your receipt out to show as you leave the sale.
  • All rules of the Arlington County Library apply to the book sale.

Volunteers needed! Questions?

Contact us at or (703) 228-5990.

Friends of the Arlington Public Library Book Sales

  • More Than 75,000 Categorized Items
    • Biggest categories include military, history, science, math, engineering, cookbooks, fiction and literature;
    • Large selection of children’s books; including older children’s literature;
    • Collector’s items;
    • Hundreds of phonograph records in very good to excellent condition, all genres and speeds;
    • DVDs, CDs, LPs and audiobooks;
    • Thousands of mass market paperbacks – still only 50 cents!


  • Restocking through 1 p.m. on Saturday.
  • For special accommodation call 703-228-3346.
  • Nearly 100% citizen donated material. No limits on buyer purchases.
  • Accepting VISA, MasterCard, Checks and Cash.

When shopping, please be aware that your elusive find may end up in an unexpected category. As the sale gets underway items get misfiled or left in surprising spots even though our volunteer staff works hard to keep things straight. So be sure to browse all the aisles when you shop.


For more information about accepted materials, calendars and other details please check our Donation FAQ.