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Book donations being sought for 'Friends' sale

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Some folks go fishing or camping on the Victoria Day long weekend while others get tasks done around the house.

If you're among the latter, why not go through your book shelves, pick out some titles you'll never read again, and donate them to a good cause?

The “Friends of the Library” will hold its annual book sale on Saturday, May 26 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Fort Frances Public Library, and residents can drop donations off there starting next week (May 21-25)

As long as they're only gently-used, all sorts of books of welcomed as donations except for encyclopedias, which just do not sell anymore, “Friends” president Laurel Halvorsen said.

She noted the public has been very generous in donating quality books each year—and in coming out to get more books during the actual sale.

Halvorsen added many book-lovers use it as an opportunity both to stock up on their “cabin reading” for the summer and to donate back the books they picked up at the sale last year.

The book sale now is the group's sole fundraiser each year. Last year it made $3,500.

The money raised is used to enhance library programming and provide “extras” that the library's annual budget does not allow, Halvorsen said.

She added the group's mandate is to help the library, although the funds it raises cannot be used for everyday expenses or operating costs.

As such, the “Friends" supports a number of children's library programs, sponsors guest authors and performances by musicians, and provides refreshments for all sorts of events, including the always-popular "Teddy Bear Picnic” each June.

The library also provides a wide variety of programs and services.

Of course, donated books also need book-lovers to buy them.

Books won't be individually priced, Halvorsen noted. Instead, people can make donations for whatever ones they pick out.

She added this system—as opposed to individually pricing books—has worked very well in recent years.

It's not only easier on the volunteers working the book sale (i.e., no adding up book prices and no money counting required) but “Friends" has found the amount it raises has gone up substantially since moving to the "pay by donation” system.

While those who come out next Saturday will get first crack at the selection, whatever books aren't sold that day will remain available for part of the following week.

Any leftover books then will be passed on to other organizations.

Halvorsen said she will take some to the La Verendrye Hospital Auxiliary for its annual “Strawberry Social” next month and some to the Rainycrest Auxiliary to be sold at the tuck shop there.

Some children's books will be donated to schools and hospital waiting rooms while whatever's left will be given to the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Donations won't get thrown out but will be used for one good cause or another, she stressed.

In related news, the “Friends of the Library” always is looking for new members.

The group meets at the library at 2 p.m. the third Thursday of each month (except in July and August).

There is no membership fee.

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