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Library Sells Donated Antiquities

The Santa Barbara Public Library will offer vintage publications and rare art from their collection this weekend at a special two-day book sale.

Friends of Santa Barbara Public Library will host a presale and sneak peek of the rarities for library members and new members at a wine and cheese reception at 5 p.m. today. The main public sale will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. and all proceeds will benefit the local institution.

According to Head Reference Librarian Jace Turner, the sale will feature a mix of retro multimedia works of varying degrees of value and rarity.

“The items for sale include signed and first editions, art books, artwork from the 1930s, a large collection of Theosophy materials, music CDs, plays, old magazines, etc.,” Turner said in an e-mail. “I should add that not every book for sale is exactly rare or valuable. We have books going for $5 that anyone who loves reading and interesting books would be excited to discover.”

Jerry Jacobs, owner of antique bookstore Lost Horizon, said people find value in antiquated literature for a variety of reasons.

“People who have that collecting love in their blood love it,” Jacobs said. “There are just a lot of people who like to collect old books. It is nice to have them so they do not disappear, and it is a part of history.”

Fourth-year history Ph.D. candidate Jackson Warkentin said old, rare publications are especially useful in his particular field of study.

“I think the acquisition of knowledge is important in each generation,” Warkentin said. “If we do not understand how each time period saw the world generations ago, we are trapped in the present.”

Keeping antiquated books in circulation is essential to preserving an understanding of our collective history, according to Warkentin.

“Printing has been a consumer-led market,” Warkentin said. “You would never know what has not been printed. If we lose that knowledge and the art, then we limit our understanding of the past.”

According to Turner, the local library always accepts antique material donations to use in future sales.

“We have acquired the books through donations to the library,” Turner said. “Sometimes the books donated are quite valuable, and rather than add them to our collection — we are a public library, not a rare book library — or sell them at our ongoing book sale where we sell items for no more than a couple of dollars, we box them up until we have no more space to store them and then have a special rare book sale.”

Turner said the sale will boast a multitude of reasonably priced works and perhaps even a one-of-a-kind find.

“Items are priced to sell,” Turner said. “The joy in a sale like this is the hunt for buried treasure.”

Admission to today’s event is $15 for members and $35 for new members. Tomorrow’s event is free to the public.

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