The area used to collect donated books for the annual summer book sale at Belfast Free Library has been deemed an unfit location for storage and led to a decision by Friends of the Belfast Free Library to discontinue the sale.

The group that puts on the book sale has lost its storage area, affectionately referred to as “The Pit,” in the library’s basement level. An insurance risk specialist ruled that donated books should no longer be stored in this space, which also houses the library’s boiler. This “Pit” space has been essential for collecting and sorting all of the thousands of donated books that later appear at the annual book sale in June.

As a result, the Friends of the Library can no longer accept donated reading material as in the past.

Going forward, book sale fundraising will be limited to the book cart across from the circulation desk and a holiday sale in December.

Donations of current books in good condition (fiction, mysteries, political and "coffee table" books) will still be welcome—but they can no longer be dropped off in the lobby.

On the first Saturday of each month (Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and also Nov. 14) there will be a table in the lobby where donations can be made from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Usable books will be welcome but material that will not fit into the limited book sale area will be rejected. Examples of unacceptable items include but are not limited to, outdated books and travel guides, encyclopedias, "Dummy" books, computer guides, and VHS cassettes.

The annual book sale has always provided a large portion of the funds the Friends donate to the library for improvements to the building, special events, new equipment and materials, and educational programs. Recent projects supported by the Friends include the new video equipment as well as new room darkening shades in the Abbott Room, the new teen space on the second floor, and the “Maine Writers Talk About” series.