Friends of the Library

Public Library Makes a Great Place for Bookstore

Dennis McCarthy of the LA Daily News has 450,000 reasons why your library should have a bookstore onsite; that's the approximate number of dollars the tiny bookstore has raised for the Platt Library since it opened in 1995. The Platt Library is a branch of the LAPL and is located in Woodland Hills CA.

The bookstore is open 6 days a week, is normally open 1 hour after the library opens until 1 hour before the library closes, and is staffed by the Friends.

Hollowed Out Book Returned by Good Samaritans

Who says there's no money in books these days? When Paul Schnitman moved last summer, he donated several books to the Friends of the Library Bookstore, Rockville, MD. Among them was a faux book with a hollowed-out center, in which his late brother had stored "more than $1,000," according to the Gazette.

"So I realized probably six weeks later that the book was missing and I went to the bookstore and magically someone had found it and turned it in," said Schnitman. Ari Z. Brooks, executive director of the Friends of the Library, said clerks at the store were "stunned" when a customer walked up to the counter in mid-November and said, "I don't think you want this book on the shelf."

The customer opened the book to reveal a wad of cash bound together by a money clip and two credit cards that had expired in 1991, she said. The two clerks, who Brooks said did not wish to comment or be named, tried to track down the owner of the credit cards, but to no avail. They turned the items over to Jim Ludlum, business manager for the FOL, who put the money in a separate banking account for safekeeping.

To make sure he was the rightful owner of the book, Schnitman said he was asked to write a letter of explanation and provide a copy of his brother's death certificate. Schnitman said he plans to give the Friends of the Library a donation for its efforts and honesty. He would not say how much money he would donate.

Librarian, There's Some Bacon in My Book

It's that time again; time for another story about strange things found in books as bookmarks from the NYT Papercuts Blog.

A few weeks ago in the NYT Book Review, Henry Alford wrote about strange things found stashed (and smashed) inside books, from money and photographs to baby’s teeth, insect corpses and pieces of superannuated bacon. There are some interesting replies to the papercuts blog too, from Unshelved cartoonist Bill Barnes, and this one from Liz G :"These leavers-behind of bacon in books may be literary, but they are certainly not true bacon lovers! While I might very well eat bacon while reading, I would never sacrifice an entire rasher to mark my place."

There seems to be a lot of skepticism about the bacon bookmark meme. A 2006 essay on Bibliobuffet mentions numerous sightings of errant breakfast meat in libraries from Florida to Nebraska to Washington State, but no first-hand accounts from librarians.

On the subject of bookmarks...in my book, there's an In My Book® bookmark (not bacon and for that matter, glatt kosher); if you'd like a complimentary sample to consider for your library or bookshop please send a stamped self-addressed (to your library) #10 envelope to In My Book, Attn: birdie, 39 Third Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (limited time offer through January 26, 2009, good only in the US). I'll send you one!

Michigan Friends Raise Funds for Their Library

And speaking of Friends of the Library...

A Holiday Home Decoration Fair that replaced the Friends of the Rochester Hills Library's holiday home tour was a big hit.

A silent auction of four-foot trees, wreaths and table centerpieces was held in the library Nov. 27 through Dec. 7. It raised $1,500.

"In previous years we sponsored a popular holiday home tour, but it was becoming more and more difficult to find homeowners willing to open their homes," said library director Christine Lind Hage. "It was also a difficult time of the year to get enough volunteers to staff the event." This year, local businesses and individuals donated the items that were auctioned. Hometown Life reports.

Go for the In-Library Bookstore, It Beats Semi-Annual Booksales

The library at Mount Lebanon, PA did, creating "The Book Cellar".

"We've wanted to do this for many years," said Cynthia Richey, library director. "I think my friends and I talked about a permanent used-book shop ... in 1995-96, and this is finally becoming a reality."

More than 100,000 volumes are donated to the library each year, she said. They were sold at semi-annual used-book sales, which last year generated $60,000. But the time and manpower of storing the books off-site and setting up temporary shelving became problematic.

So, The Book Cellar, a permanent used-book store, was created in several rooms downstairs from the main library, through the efforts of Friends of the Library volunteers to staff it. Not just books, book accessories too.

Voluntown Library Volunteers Make an 'Extreme Makeover' Quilt

Deborah Fleet, Director, Voluntown (CT) Public Library writes in the library blog (story includes a photo of the gorgeous quilt-to-be...)

"Saturday Morning, after speaking with Christelle Lachapelle, and then Billy Roberts, Design Producer for Extreme Homemakeover at Voluntown for the Girard Family Extreme Makeover, I initiated an effort for an extreme community quilt for the Girard Family. I was given the go ahead by Mr. Roberts after being given a color scheme for a bedroom, and began meeting with interested women at the library. As of Tuesday night, the quilt top is complete.

Here is the link for the article in the Norwich Bulletin this morning: Extreme Community Quilt Project.

Thanks to Polly Farrington for the heads-up.

The Literary Bucket Brigade

Adhering to the Boy Scout Creed of 'helping other people at all times', Thomaston and Cushing (ME) Cub Scout Pack 215 helped librarians move books to the new childrens area at the Thomaston Public Library (where incidentally, they are looking for a new head librarian).

Children's Librarian Debby Atwell said "This was a Veterans Day miracle". Story and photos from Village Soup.

Speculators Keep a Watchful Eye Out for Treasures

Some people work for a living, some make money buying futures, some speculate in stocks (not too successfully of late...) and some can actually make money selling used books.

From Sign On San Diego, here's the story of one such individual, Nancy McReady, who scouts the Friends of the Library sales and is "on the lookout for the occasional gold mine, such as the worn coffee-table book [she] found at the Vista branch library for 50 cents and resold for $250".

“You have to research,” McCready said. “You have to know what you're looking for. You have to develop an intuition.

Take it from birdie friends/Friends, this woman is on to something. Price your books appropriately and do your homework. The days of the 50 cents book are (or at least should be) over. Utilize those donations to make real money for your library.

Loyal Friends in London

Friends of the London (ON) Public Library turned 15 last month.

...great promotional image

In the coming months Friends will be offering two great opportunities for Londoners to pay equal homage to their library system. First is their gift to Londoners at their annual three-day book sale at the Western Fair’s Special Events Building Friday to Sunday, Oct. 24-26.

Then there’s the opportunity for Londoners to give back with the gift of literacy by donating to A Book For Every Child. The 2008 campaign begins on Nov. 8, which which most London bookstores offer a 20 per cent discount for books purchased and left at the store to be donated to the library and given to a deserving child. The Londoner.

A Great Slogan, In My Book

from the Nashville Library...

"a city with a great library is a great city", sold by the Friends of the Nashville Public Library.

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