Friends of the Library gather for biannual book sale

The Friends of the Library are preparing for their biannual book sale, and they are already looking for volunteers to help things along.

Alta Barwick, chairperson of the book sale, said this will be the second year she has organized the book sale.

“We have been doing the sale for at least 20 years,” Barwick said.

She said they used to do part of the sale on Sunday, but their more recent location, Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, is not open on Sunday, so they have settled into a Thursday through Saturday schedule instead.

Thursday is an “early bird” sale for current or new members for a two-hour period, while Friday and Saturday will be for everyone and will take place during the whole day.

Barwick said the fundraiser is one of the main ways they help the Elizabethton/Carter County Library fund improvements to the library they cannot fit into the budget.

“We help pay for things like rugs, chairs and tables,” she said.

She said funding the library is important because of its status in the Carter County community as a whole.

“It provides ways to make the library more comfortable,” Barwick said. “Recently, we have had a teenager group here all the time, and this helps teach them the value of learning and reading.”

Beyond making it more accessible for the county’s youth, she said funding the library in and of itself will strengthen the community, in part because of her own experience with it.

“I love books and want to support the library,” she said.

Normally, the book sale would bring in roughly $4,000 a year off of one annual sale. Nowadays, she said they bring in about $6,000 a year from two. She said the popularity of e-books is part of the cause.

“We are finding more people are using e-readers now, which means they do not need physical books,” Barwick said.

In fact, she said the fall book sale started in order to bring in the home-schooled children, and they are still bringing in less money per sale than before.

Those interested in volunteering at the sale can meet at Elizabethton Parks and Rec, at 300 West Mill St., at 9 a.m. to help set up for the early bird sale. Those interested in donating books can do so at the public library at 200 N. Sycamore St.

The book sale will take place April 11-13, from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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