, Salem, MA

April 15, 2014

Letter: Community came together for book sale

The Salem News

---- — 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.

So, whether you have been a donor, buyer or volunteer — or all three! — know that your contribution in support of our local library is greatly appreciated and is helping to enhance and enrich the library services available to the entire community. Besides funding many of the programs presented at the library, the Friends purchase the popular museum passes. This year, we have also appropriated money for the purchase of an LCD projector, a new DVD player and six computers. The Friends board is pleased to have initiated the idea of purchasing a 3-D printer, now available for the general public to use! Stop in and explore the latest the library has to offer.

And mark your calendar for The Friends Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 29, when WCVB investigative reporter and acclaimed mystery writer Hank Phillipi Ryan will be the guest speaker. Visit

Beth Myers

Book sale coordinator

Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library