Letter: It’s important to support library

Published 10:00 am Thursday, November 20, 2014

You have undoubtedly heard the famous quote from Hillary Clinton, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I would contend it takes a village to raise a library used book sale. As my first time working on such an event, I was not prepared for the outpouring of generosity from the people of Austin. Donated books gushed into the library like shoppers rushing into Macy’s on Black Friday. It was astonishing!

You know, it speaks volumes about a community when an event like this is carried off with such success. I will admit that early on I went from the dreaded wondering if we’d have enough inventory to put on a sale, to the amazed wondering if the library could build an annex so we could put on this sale. Piles, stacks and mountains of beautiful books were everywhere.

Shoppers may have noticed that this fall there was a new arrangement of the books. No more craning the neck into an unnatural, irritating pose as you read down the long aisles. Rather, the book titles will be displayed as English intended, reading from left to right rather than top to bottom. If this makes no sense, come to the spring sale and you’ll experience the improvement. Plus, you’ll be able to purchase more books because you won’t have to spend money on a chiropractor to get your neck back in alignment.

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You know, there is interesting psychology in a sale such as this. With everyone donating, everyone holds a stake in the success of the project. You all take a personal responsibility for making it a triumph. And a triumph it was. Did you know we broke all fall sale records? Yes, we did, by golly, and you made that happen!

Have you ever thought about what an incredible thing the Austin Public Library is? It costs no money for you to use its endless resources. There simply is not another public institute like it. It’s like going to college free. And not only that but the calming atmosphere of the building is a haven for mental stimulation, causing you to leave smarter than when you arrived. Hands down, it’s the best deal in town.

Furthermore, are you aware there is an organization called the Friends of the Library? For only $10 a year, the entire family can receive its benefits. For example, receiving the newsletter, letting you know when a great event is happening, allowing you to be part of that great event, and giving you the privilege of going to the book sale the day before it opens where you can browse to your heart’s content absent the crowds. It will also serve as a soothing balm to your contentment knowing you are an integral part of this fine institution.

Where else does your $10 a year go, you ask? Literacy initiatives for children and the book prizes given to them during the summer reading events. Author visits and special purchases like the new puppets. Also, Friends money goes toward the purchase of one out of three new library books, and these are only a few examples. Who knew a $10 bill could stretch so far?

If I were to list all the volunteers who made the book sale possible, I would need another page. Let it be known you were awesome helpers, giving cheerfully of your time, your energy and your organizing skills. It goes without saying there would not have been a sale without you.

Remember this, folks, the name of our library is not “The” Austin Public Library, but rather “My” Austin Public Library.” It and all its treasures belong to you.

The Friends of the Library will have their first ever Christmas Book Sale in early December. We are partnering with Barnes and Noble to sell new books, calendars, journals, 3-D puzzles, hardbound comic books, games, cookbooks, etc. This is the perfect one-stop shopping event as we will also be gift wrapping your purchases free. What could be better than that? Imagine how simple this makes choosing a gift for your spouse, your friends and your grandchildren. The event will be held in “your” Public Library and all proceeds will go right back into the library.

Peggy Keener,


Friends of the Library Christmas Book Sale

•Dec. 4   4-8 p.m.

•Dec. 5   12-6 p.m.

•Dec. 6   10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sale is partnering with Barnes and Noble to sell new books, calendars, journals, 3-D puzzles, hardbound comic books, games, cookbooks and more