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The big one: 32nd annual FCLS book sale really does have something for everyone

CHAMBERSBURG - Everybody loves a good bargain. A good bargain is a great bargain when the proceeds of a purchase - no  matter how modest - go to help someone in need.

Franklin County Legal Services is offering about 70,000 bargains at its 32nd annual book sale May 6-8, and the proceeds help individuals who do not have the wherewithal, for whatever reason, to obtain legal representation.

This year FCLS is holding its enormously popular book sale on the Wilson College campus over Mother's Day weekend. Some 100 volunteers will be helping out, not only with pricing and selling, but also manning a clean-up crew after the event and packing up unsold items for next year.

Shoppers can prepare for searching through books on every subject imaginable. From the dedicated bibliophile to the casual reader, this is the time to stock up on favorite authors or subjects. Name the category - fiction, history, cookbooks. children's books, mysteries, romance, science fiction, religion, humor, do-it-yourself, gardening, and on and on - there is enough variety to feed the interest of anyone. It's also an opportunity to stock up on gifts for family and friends. (One note of guidance, no encyclopedias or text books are included.).

Special this year

Adding to this year's excitement are two important collections. One consists of books owned by the late Cesi Kellinger, one of the founders of the Franklin County Friends of Legal Services. A dedicated book lover who passed away in 2014, her legacy includes an impressive selection of fine books on the arts and humanities. They will only be available on Friday and Saturday during the sale.

The other significant collection is one of unused instrumental music teaching materials. Although mainly for piano students (including the adult learner), there are also items for guitar, wind, brass, and string instruments, both for the learner and ensembles. Even the humble harmonica is represented.

Unique and rare

In addition, there will also be a large selection of DVDs, CDs, sheet music, artwork, maps, puzzles, games, books on tape and rare books. In the latter category, a rare book silent auction will be held with bidding from Friday through the end of the day on Saturday. Among the material included will be the "Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society" from the J.P. Smith collection, dating from 1923 to 1946; copies of the Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art, dating from 1859; a 1996 signed, leather-bound edition of the autobiography of Shirley Temple Black; a Pennsylvania Dutch inscribed set of their traditions, folk art, and foods; the Jacob Riis classic study, "How the Other Half Lives"; and a more recent classic, Alvin Toeffler's 1970 "Future Shock."

Paperbacks sell for about 50 cents; hardbound books in like-new physical shape are just a couple of dollars. Sunday offers an even better attraction - Bargain Bag Day. Fill a brown paper bag of books at a cost of $5. Load up on three, and the fourth is free.

Where the money goes

FCLS, founded in 2002, focuses on providing legal advice, when appropriate, in the form of direct client representation. pro bono referrals, services for those in jail such as powers of attorney or a will, citizenship preparation, and assistance to those who wish to represent themselves in pro se custody or divorce cases.

"We work with a large group of pro-bono attorneys," said Gloria Keeney, executive director of FCLA, "providing  help in terms of legal services to the low-income. Hiring an attorney can be out-of-reach for many, and we exist to provide equal access."

If you missed donating books or other items on the list to the FCLS this year, you can get a jump on next year by calling after the auction to find out where to drop off books for next year.

When you go:

32nd Annual Friends of Legal Services Book Sale

Laird Hall, Wilson College

1015 Philadelphia Ave, Chambersburg 

9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday, May 6

9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday, May 7

Noon -4 p.m. Sunday, May 8

Admission and parking are free

Refreshments are available for a modest cost

For more information, call 717-262-2326 or visit the website at