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Local Bookworms Weather the Elements to Raise Money at the Watauga County Friends of the Library Book Sale

By Erika Giovanetti

May 22, 2013. Last weekend, the Friends of the Library held their annual Book Sale at the Boone Mall on Blowing Rock Road to raise money for the Watauga County Library. The event was successful, and book lovers showed their support regardless of the rainy weather. The event raised about $8,500, still a substantial amount although the event didn’t reach its $10,000 goal, said event coordinator Claire Olander.

Olander said that the rain even helped the event gain support. “We were busy all of Saturday,” perhaps because the mall provided shelter for those who could’ve otherwise been involved in outdoor activities.

Book Sale pic2The sale opened to members of the Friends of the Library on Thursday, May 16 from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. Members of the public could attend by joining the Friends for a fee of $5 to participate in the early preview. During the event, the Friends of the Library gained 88 new members. To become a member of the Friends, simply sign up at the Watauga County Public Library’s circulation desk.

On Friday and Saturday, the book sale was open to the public. Hardcovers sold for $1, paperbacks for 50 cents, and children’s books were specially priced. Coffee table books, videos, and DVDs were also available at the sale.

The revenue from the book sale goes toward funding for various library projects. Some of these include author visits, summer reading programs and overall literacy promotion among youth.

The books featured in the sale came from community donors and were collected throughout the year. Book donations are accepted at the Watauga County Library; some books are added to the shelves, while others are sold in book sales. The library accepts books that are in good condition.

Members of the community showed their support by volunteering their time and efforts. Freedom Farm Ministries helped transfer the books from the storage area to the mall and from the trucks into the mall.

“When the sale was over, they had the whole place spic and span in 30 minutes,” says Olander.

Mall manager, Meredith Golden, and her son C.K. provided tables, chairs and carts for the event, and were very accommodating, Olander said.

Books that didn’t sell during the event were donated to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, which provided two trucks and two men to transfer books from the storage area to the mall.

“The customers that came out to the sale were polite, generous. It was awesome to see the kids reading books. It was a fun event. A lot of work, but a lot of fun,” said Olander.

If you missed last weekend’s book sale, you can go to the Watauga County Library to check out their ongoing book sale.

The Friends of the Library is holding another fundraiser, the High Country Festival of the Book, June 21 and 22 at Watauga High School. The festival is free to the public and will feature author presentations and another book sale, as well as activities geared towards kids. Mountain Alliance, a local group dedicated to keeping students in school, will cater breakfast and lunch, with all proceeds going to support local high school youth.