, Salem, MA


April 15, 2014

Letter: Community came together for book sale

To the editor:

The crowd of patrons at the recent March book sale at Hamilton-Wenham Public Library demonstrates that still, for now, the popularity of electronic books has not yet lessened the demand for the real thing.

The continuing success of the Friends’ semiannual book sales is a credit to the generosity of the community, both through the donations (that at times overwhelm the library entrance) and volunteer time in sorting, book sale prep and sales — most recently involving more than 60 volunteers. (See the list of those who worked on the March sale posted in the library). This event is always a true community effort and labor of love.

The Friends appreciate all the donations we receive and work diligently to market them in support of the library. And, still, we are amazed at the quality of some of the several thousand books that remain on the last (bargain) day of the book sale. So, we are pleased to be able to offer some to charities at the end of the sale. This year free books were collected for local Hamilton-Wenham classrooms, as well as underserved schools in N.J. (as part of a GS Gold Award project), and more locally in Revere and Bridgewater. Paperbacks were selected for distribution to our troops and for a prison library program. These charities were all patron-suggested, and for future sales, we welcome ideas for other charities that could benefit from our surplus at the end of the sale.

Patrons are often interested in the final disposition of the remaining books. The answer is that we have a commercial dealer who takes all of the books and is able to list and sell many online. In addition, a number are donated to worthy charities. And so, in this way, many more of these books still find appreciative owners, while the remainder of the lot are pulped and recycled responsibly.

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