Thousands of books filled the cafeteria at Grand Mesa Middle School on Tuesday, stories about the Titanic and a tiny Mexican village, an Olympic alphabet book and the novel about the bond between siblings, all waiting for new homes.
School District 51 has collected and given away used books — ranging from novels to textbooks, picture books to dictionaries — for nearly 30 years, said textbook technician Polly Birch.
Every year, Birch and a team of volunteers collect used books from local schools, sort them and then invite the public to take as many as they can carry — and sometimes more.
Birch said she sees a wide range of people take books, including home school families, churches stocking up their libraries and people with miniature free libraries in front of their homes.
Teachers Debbie Beth Hoffman and Lyndi Hoffman, who are mother and daughter, walked out of the giveaway with a box and two bags full of books.
Debbie Beth teaches middle school and gave away two boxes of books from her classroom this year, picking books that her students haven't checked out in a few years to give to a new home.
Then she came to the giveaway to refresh her classroom library. She's particularly excited about a new series about dragons she hopes her students will enjoy.
Lyndi, who teaches second grade, has come to the book giveaway for three years as she tries to build her own classroom library. She was also looking for books for a new teacher at her school.
"It's a great way to recycle books," Lyndi said. "A book that seems old or you want out of your classroom could be a great addition for another teacher."
The book giveaway continues from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today at Grand Mesa Middle School, 585 31 1/2 Road.