Driving a good bargain

Published 11:38 am Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It’s the type of community we live in.

The Friends of the Austin Public Library hosted its annual fall book sale over the weekend, giving residents the opportunity to find some bargains on paperbacks and hard covers.

Proceeds went toward the group’s general fund, which supports special projects for the library.

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On Monday, roughly a quarter of the unsold books were packed up by members of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society from Riverland Community College and were loaded into a large trailer by students from Riverland’s English as a Second Language program.

This morning, the trailer was taken to St. Paul by members of Riverland’s truck driver training program, and the leftover books were dropped off at Goodwill.

And that’s only part of the story.

While the books filled the back half of the trailer, the front half was filled with clothes collected and donated by an Albert Lea group for Riverland’s students to drop off in St. Paul at World Relief, an organization that distributes clothes to countries such as Africa and South America.

The students will make this stop following their trip Goodwill.

This was a win-win situation all around.

The Friends of the Austin Public Library were able to donate their unsold books to Goodwill, while the truck driving students, who receive 800 to 1,000 miles of training with an instructor before they can drive on their own, gained more valuable experience.

“You can’t beat it,” Riverland instructor Terry Bue said of the opportunity for his students.

We are fortunate our local community college offers such hands-on training opportunities, and that our local groups do what they can to help support the effort as well.