First published in age July 26, 1992
Inventory frenzy as library sells books
A lone man waited patiently in cold Melbourne before dawn for the start of the State Library’s last big public collection sale yesterday.
This precocious bookworm proved his 5:30 vigil was worth it, as the queue swelled to 2,000 when the doors opened at 9 a.m.
It meandered from the Latrobe Street entrance, through a lane in Little Lonsdale Street and up Swanton Street just as the sky opened up, pouring rain on those hoping to buy antique and modern works at low prices. price.
Security staff at the Museum of Victoria had a few minutes of panic as the crowd rushed for cover, only to surge forward when the doors opened. There were a few frayed tempers among some claiming others had jumped places.
Although many aspects of the £35,000 sale, which continues today, resembled a department store inventory sale, bargain hunters turned out to be a generally bookish and orderly lot.
In the morning, they waited until two o’clock to access the two floors of books, some knowing that this was the second and final sale of the library’s public collection.
The library opened on August 4, 1892, and the sale, just under a century later, was for old loan stock from that time. It ceased to operate as a lending library in the 1970s.