Letter to the Editor: Book sale showcases milestones at this year’s event

Published 6:08 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

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The results are in! The Friends of the Austin Public Library pulled off a number of milestones with their used book sale in March.

First, the Friends raised over $9,000 during the three-day sale event — a new record far and above all previous sale events. Second, they accomplished their record-breaking sales at a new venue — the sale was held at the Ruby Rupner Auditorium at the Hormel Nature Center. Third, the sale was a “comeback” event after more than two years where the pandemic prevented this formerly twice-annual event from happening.

An enormous amount of work is required to curate and prepare the items for the sale. The Friends of the Library volunteers work tirelessly and put in hundreds of hours to collect, organize and sort donated books and materials to prepare for the sale -— in addition to the months of planning beforehand.

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Their efforts were bolstered by the many generous community members who donated their gently-used books, and by the crowds of avid readers who came and bought the books. The Friends also received a helping hand from the City’s Park and Recreation Department — Randy Hofner and crew transported book carts, extra tables and other items to the Nature Center; and Jay C. Hormel Nature Center Director Luke Reese and staff provided additional support to the volunteers.

Every year, the library receives financial support, as well as service and advocacy from the Friends of the Library. An independent non-profit organization, the Friends group works to raise money, and its volunteers give hundreds of hours to support library programs and services to the Austin community.

Funding from the Friends supports the library’s Summer Reading programs, helps purchase special equipment, and funds performers and programs throughout the year.

On behalf of the Austin Public Library, Director Julie Clinefelter and the library staff wish to express sincere appreciation to our wonderful and hardworking Friends of the Austin Public Library.

In addition, we would like to thank the Austin community for its ongoing support of the book sales and the library itself. The book sales would not be possible without the generously donated books and materials provided by so many. Many thanks to those who donated items for the sale, and to those who attended it.

We are fortunate to live in a place where people value the public library and show their support in such tangible ways. The library’s goal is to connect people with resources that foster literacy, equity and community in a safe, comfortable space. The Friends of the Library help us make that happen.

Julie Clinefelter

and the Austin

Public Library staff