Friends’ Book Sale A Hit!

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Robert White

A limited group of customers paid for getting “first dibs” for two hours on opening night.

It was a joy for the Friends of Kent Memorial Library to bring back our annual book sale on September 10-12, after COVID-19 concerns caused us to cancel last year’s sale. There were changes, of course. To help keep customers and volunteers safe, everyone wore a mask. We also expanded our space by renting a big tent, which was set up on the lawn near Father Ted Hall. This provided an outdoor shopping option for customers seeking DVDs and children’s books, and it gave us space indoors to display all of our books upon the tabletops for better viewing. We also introduced a new Sunday special: fill a bag for $5. This was so popular that some shoppers filled two, three, even four bags! The result was a great success – we had many happy customers, and our proceeds from the three-day sale were over $17,500. The money will be used to fund Kent Memorial Library programs, museum passes and more.

Sacred Heart Church generously invited us to hold our sale at Father Ted Hall for the sixth year! Father Jette and the congregation have made us feel so welcome. The large parking lot and the handicapped accessibility of spacious Father Ted Hall make this an ideal book sale location. On top of that, the church allows us to use all of their folding tables. Thank you, Sacred Heart Church!

We are grateful to our First Selectman Melissa Mack, who allowed us to use space for our book sorting and storage at 230C Mountain Road while the Town remained in residence there, and to Elzear Roy, the building’s owner, who has generously allowed us to remain at 230C after Town offices moved back to Town Hall.

Two weeks before the book sale, Chris Matejek and Jim Richardson (JR), of the Suffield Public Works crew, along with over 40 Friends volunteers, helped us move hundreds of boxes of books to Father Ted Hall. They also moved tables that were loaned to us by the Suffield Public Schools. This book sale comes together because of an amazing team effort, and we are so appreciative of the Town’s continued support.

This sale could not happen without all our generous book donors and loyal volunteers. During the year, volunteers sort donated books on the first Saturday of each month at the library. They move hundreds of boxes of donated books to our storage location. They sort and label and clean and organize the books into the 70+ categories you can choose from each year, putting in thousands of hours. They set up the books and work the book sale, act as cashiers, and help us break down after the sale. Kerry and Bob White, Nancy Smith, Ruth Zimmerman and Anne Borg are the core of the volunteer effort, and each puts in hundreds of hours each year. Without our many, many dedicated volunteers, the book sale would be history!

Towards the end of this year’s sale, we invited a local prison librarian to take books for the prison library. Once the sale closed, leftover DVDs and CDs were taken to Goodwill, and our remaining fiction went to the Traveler Restaurant in Union. The Town of Suffield helped us once again, moving our “keepers” back to our storage space and taking discards to the landfill.

And we begin again. Monthly book collections take place on the first Saturday of each month, resuming on Saturday, October 2 from 10 a.m. – noon at the library on Main Street. The Friends’ book cart at the library will be stocked with books for sale. Stop in and browse!

Volunteer Ruth Zimmerman throws up her hands in exasperation with so much to do.
Photo by Becky Tobiasz
A big tent was added for extra space next to Father Ted Hall.
Photo by Robert White

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