Silent Auction

Every month, the Friends hold a Silent Auction.  Interesting, unusual, and nearly-new books are continuously offered.  Bidders determine the prices.  

See the Silent Auction glass display case near the reference desk for the newest entries and to make a bid. 

The Silent Auction focuses on singularly attractive or hard to find books – all collected from donations.  Each Silent Auction grouping is displayed in the case for 4-5 weeks along with a brief description, internet pricing of similar items, and bidding information.  

To Bidenter your bid amount on the appropriate index card in red binder hanging next to Silent Auction display case in YV Library.  Bids typically increase in $5.00 increments.  Stop by the library several times to see if someone has raised your bid and bid more if you really want the item(s).  Winning bidders are notified by phone.


NEW!  Silent Auction items available until

6:00 pm on Tuesday, March 13


Item #1 Tuxedo Park & The Pigeon Tunnel  (2016)
The story of Alfred Loomis and his home Tuxedo Park. His genius
and fortune were crucial to winning World War II.  Also, famed
writer John le Carré’s memoir of his years in British intelligence
and observer of world events.  Internet value: $20-35
Starting bid: $10      Minimum raise: $5


Item #2     Traditional English Gardens
Explores 28 gardens supervised by the British National Trust.
Full color photos of Abbeys, stately manors, even one of
King Henry’s hunting lodges. Fabulous gift and wonderful
garden ideas.  Internet value: $15-30
Starting bid: $10        Minimum raise: $5


Item #3      Fighters of World War II  (1998)
“Highly comprehensive… each aircraft’s development and
service… full specs … annotated cutaway drawings.
100+ b&w & dozens of wartime color photos;
100 color illustrations.”  Internet value: $20-30
Starting bid: $10       Minimum raise: $5


Item #4     10 Sue Grafton
With Sue Grafton’s recent death, we offer a retrospective.
Re-read your favorites or discover her anew.  Here are
9 alphabet mysteries (A, D-F, S-V, X) + her semi-autobiographical
Kinsey and Me(11 more … G-J, L-R … coming next month!)
Internet value: $60-70
Starting bid: $25       Minimum raise: $5


Item #5     Original acrylic painting
Artist Barbara Cella donated this view of Mt. Diablo.
(See card for contact information.)  Market value: $100.
(We’ll offer more of Barbara’s work in future auctions!
Starting bid: $30     Minimum raise: $10


Item #6     17 Peter Rabbit books
Delightful, timeless stories with Beatrix Potter’s original
sketches. Small size is perfect for little hands.
(Total collection = 23 books) Internet value: $50-100
Starting bid: $25      Minimum raise: $5


Item #7     Ireland – 2 books + DVD
Wondering what to give for St. Paddy’s Day?
Little Irish Cookbook, Travelers’ Tales Ireland and In Search of
Ancient Ireland
, DVD by PBS, 170 min. + Over Ireland 
full length film. Internet value: $20-40
Starting bid: $15      Minimum raise: $5


Item #8     Are You Being Served series 6-10 +
Are You Being Served? Again!
All 35 episodes from series 6-10 & a bonus disc of
interviews and TV specials plus 2 discs of “Again” with
all 12 episodes.  Hours of laughter for sure!
Internet value: $35-50
Starting bid: $20     Minimum raise: $5


Item #9     Classic Starts stories
Reading level approx. 4th grade. Heidi, Huckleberry Finn, King Arthur,
Man in the Iron Mask, Oliver Twist, Robin Hood, 
Swiss Family Robinson,
Tom Sawyer. “Good way to introduce 
stories so children are more likely
to read the originals later.” Internet value: $40-50
Starting bid: $15     Minimum raise: $5



Silent Auction Enters 20th Year at YV Library in 2017

            For 20 years, a little known East Bay treasure hunt has been taking place at Ygnacio Valley Library.  Each month the Friends of YV Library’s ongoing Silent Auction offers unusual items and nearly new books for sale.  And the bidders determine the prices.   The glass display case near the reference desk is often the first place frequent visitors stop to see the newest entries. 

            The Silent Auction focuses on singularly attractive or hard to find books – all culled from the donation bins – which are displayed in the case for 4-5 weeks along with a brief description, which includes the internet price of similar items on major websites like Amazon.

            Although starting prices are predetermined – they range from $10-25 – bidding sometimes becomes quite competitive.  Knowing all proceeds go to the library, bidders seize the chance to own treasured books from their childhood – like one retired woman who bought 40 Nancy Drew mysteries for more than the online price – or to purchase a special gift for a loved one – like the man who bought his wife  the complete set of Agatha Christies for their anniversary.

            Sometimes the auction has a special theme, like the Civil War, or special books for Father’s Day, or  Hollywood stars around Oscar time, but usually it provides a balanced mixture of titles for children, young adults, history buffs, architecture lovers, travel afficionados, mystery sleuths, and lovers of the unusual – like a set of vampire thrillers.

            Patrons place bids on index cards adjacent to the display case.  Posted on the cards are a required starting bid and a minimum raise for each succeeding bid.  The ending date is also posted.  At the end of the auction, winning bidders are notified by telephone and then have one week to pick up their items at the library.     

            Besides providing a steady source of funding for the Friends, the Silent Auction is just plain fun.  According to the librarians, there’s almost always someone peering into the display window.  As seasoned bidders have learned – sometimes to their dismay – it isn’t enough just to place a bid and wait for the end of the auction.  Savvy bidders know to check the index cards frequently to ensure they haven’t been aced out by a higher number, and it isn’t unusual, when the Silent Auction coordinator calls a winner about one book, for them to ask, “But didn’t I get the other one?” 

            Hotly-sought items in past auctions have included the complete works of Charles Dickens, a tea set of English bone china, the Outlander historical novels, and the complete Harry Potter, along with travel, nature, sports, military and automotive titles.