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Guest opinion by Maureen Gebelein

Most people don’t immediately think of the Friends of the Library Bookstore when they think about ways to improve the environment and combat climate change. But you can start right here in SJC. “Think Globally. Act Locally!”


Spring Cleaning: The SJC FOL accepts donated books, periodicals, CDs & DVDs for resale in our bookstore. The Friends of the Library is a 501 (c)(3) and funds raised go to support the San Juan Capistrano Library. There is a blue donation bin that can be accessed at any time. If you prefer, you can call the bookstore at 949.493.2688 to arrange a drop-off.

The SJC FOL Bookstore is the only bookstore in town, so you can walk or bike to visit us. If you drive, you reduce miles driven by staying local.

Councilman Sergio Farias, SJC’s representative on the Orange County Library Advisory Board, says, “Friends of the Library is a wonderful resource for our community. It gives us the opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint by purchasing previously enjoyed books. I have fond memories of stopping by the bookstore on my way home and purchasing books about World War II aircraft, dinosaurs, and horror stories from left-over lunch money as a San Juan Elementary school student. More recently, I have been able to enjoy the FOL by taking my own family in to shop.”


You are purchasing gently used items, giving them a new home. We recently received some sets of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, and it was fun seeing those classics going home to be discovered by a new generation of readers.


The SJC FOL is committed to passing on items we can’t use. We fill up Little Free Libraries around town. Books we can’t use are sold to dealers who resell them online or pass them on to pulp dealers.

Libraries across the nation celebrate National Library Week April 3-9 this year, which is a time to recognize and highlight the valuable role of libraries in our communities. Although our library is closed for tenant enhancements right now, the bookstore remains open, so the SJC FOL can continue our mission of supporting our community library.

The Friends of the Library Bookstore is at 34195-A El Camino Real in San Juan Capistrano, open Saturday-Thursday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and closed on Fridays. Visit for information or to donate. We are always looking for volunteers who share our vision.

Check us out!

Maureen Gebelein is a resident of San Juan Capistrano and is a retired library director from Fullerton Public Library. Currently on the Board of the Friends of the Library, she is passionate about books, reading and literacy.

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