The Pratt Public Library is cleaning house. Staff members have gathered stacks and stacks and boxes and boxes of books for the annual book sale this week. They're books weeded from the collection, or donated books that were not added, Director Rochelle Westerhaus said. They include fiction, non-fiction and children's books.

Prices are low: 50 cents per item or $4 for a bag (provided at the library). On Saturday, the bag price is marked down to $2.

Proceeds from the sale fund programs for children, teens and adults throughout the year.

The sale starts in conjunction with the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce Third Thursday event.

They're also clearing out 47 years of accumulated materials, equipment and stuff from the basement and putting it out front for a yard sale on Friday and Saturday.

The most recent library survey, and one done five years ago, indicated that people think the main room of the library should be modernized, with comfortable seating. The yard sale will help provide funds for new furnishings.

There will be a variety of items for sale, including old art prints, small tables and chairs and hanging light fixtures. There are a couple of shelving units. One would be excellent for garage storage, and another, with a glass front, would be a beautiful piece of furniture if someone had some woodworking skills, Westerhaus said.

There is a lawnmower and lawn equipment. Longtime librarian Oneita Johnson utilized Green Thumb volunteers for yardwork, and the library owned the equipment.

Before moving to its present location in 1966, the library was located in the courthouse. Adults who were school children at the time remember moving books two blocks west in a kid-powered relay. Furnishings from the courthouse library were also moved, and as they have gone out of service, have been stored in the basement.

Old furnishings, some dating to the 1920s through the 1940s, along with more contemporary pieces, circa 1960-1970s, will be offered for sale in a silent auction.

Items will be displayed in the library lobby beginning Oct. 17. Silent bids will be received for two weeks, then another group of items will move in.

Bids will be taken only while the furniture is on display, but there will be a notebook of all items available for view, along with descriptions, measurements and a minimum bid price, so people can make plans, Westerhaus said.

Some of the items include a set of children's chairs and a table, a record cabinet, two large oak library tables and a variety of chairs, some upholstered.

The silent auction will last through Feb. 7.

Currently, the basement is used only for storage; however, the library board has discussed opening it for public use.

There are lots of things to do before that could happen, Westerhaus said, but the first step is cleaning it out and making anything that is useful available to the public.