Local readers look forward to the twice-yearly used book sales hosted by the Society of the Friends of the Pincher Creek Library, and this fall’s sale provided books for all ages and interests.
Volunteers manned tables at Ranchland Mall from Oct. 4 to 6, raising funds to support the needs and projects of Pincher Creek and District Municipal Library.
Folks had the opportunity to sift through a wide range of books, made up of community donations and old library books, and grab what they’d like in exchange for a donation.
“Their support means the world to us, and we feel appreciated and loved, thanks to an organization that has helped us for such a long time now,” says Samantha Bonwick, the library’s outreach co-ordinator.
“They really do a lot for the library and are always there for us. We can’t thank them enough.”
For over 30 years, this charitable organization, made up entirely of volunteers, has assisted the library. Typically, funds have been used to purchase such items as computers, shelving, furnishings, e-readers and, of course, new books.
“The library can’t fundraise for itself, so we kind of act as the fundraising arm of the library,” says Karen Graham, a Friends of the Library volunteer.
“What we do is we try to provide some extras. Maybe they need some children’s books, maybe they need some books for low-level readers or e-readers for people with poor eyesight, so that’s what we try to provide.”
In the past, the group has donated to other libraries in times of need. In 2013 it gave $1,000 to the High River Library following flooding, and in 2011 it gave support to the Slave Lake library after a wildfire ravaged the community.
Friends of the Library also tries to hire youth groups to assist them with setting up the sale and taking it down as another way of supporting the overall community. This year, the Matthew Halton grad class was recruited and received financial compensation for their assistance. Many of the unsold books are packed up by the students and put away until the next sale.
Not all of the books are packed away, as some will be going to the town’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church will send encyclopedias, children’s books, book series and more to children and teachers in Belize, a developing country on the northeastern coast of Central America, in support of children’s education.
“The church approached us a few years ago and asked if they could have a few children’s books to give to kids, and we’ve been able to provide them with more over the years as we learned what kinds of books they like to give children,” Karen says.
“We’re happy to help. We have lots of books to share.”
Friends of the Library will host its next used book sale May 8 to 10.
The organization is always happy to accept new volunteers and encourages those interested in doing so to contact the library.