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Posted on: May 18, 2021

City Corner Column: Friends of the Library helps book lovers safely get back to normal

Portrait photo of Diana Sneed

Despite all of the high-tech information sources available to us nowadays, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of a book.

It’s a lot like the feeling of gathering in person. During the past year, the Victoria Public Library has worked with incredible creativity to provide events in a virtual format. However, many Victoria residents have been missing the feeling of attending a Friends of the Library book sale: thumbing through rows and stacks of books in the Bronte Room, surrounded by fellow book-lovers in search of hidden gems.

After more than a year of waiting, we’re excited to welcome our longtime patrons back to the Bronte Room this week as we work to raise funds for the library’s event programming. The book sale will be open to the public 9 a.m.-6 p.m. May 17-21 and 10 a.m.-noon May 22.

I’m pleased with the progress that has been made in reducing COVID-19 transmission and increasing vaccinations in our community. Nevertheless, the virus is still a cause for concern, which is why the board worked to come up with ways to keep our guests safe and healthy during the book sale.

If you come to the book sale this week, you may notice that the shelves have been spaced apart to create distance between browsers. We’ve also moved our checkout area to reduce foot traffic at the entrance. The room will be sanitized each day with a UV light machine.

In accordance with City policy, all staff and patrons will be required to wear facial coverings. We will also have optional rubber gloves for residents who want them. Of course, plenty of hand sanitizer will be available.

 

If you were as impressed as I was by the library’s tenacity during the past year, you may want to consider helping us support them further. You can inquire at the library about becoming a member of the Friends of the Library. The membership fee is $10 per year, and members enjoy priority access to the book sales via a “members-only” sale on Sundays.

You can also become a supporter for a $50 fee. The cost is normally $100, but we are reducing it to $50 this year in honor of our organization’s 50th anniversary. Supporters will be recognized in our newsletter.

You can also pick up a nifty Friends of the Library book bag at the library. They cost $5 and come with a special perk: If you bring your book bag to the last two days of the book sale (May 21 and 22), you can fill up the bag as many times as you like for $1 per fill-up.

I hope that the return of the book sale will serve as a sign of hope for residents. I also encourage residents to do their part to bring COVID-19 under control so that other types of events can be held safely. Keep wearing your mask, and if you’re eligible for the vaccine, get it. Things will only go back to normal when our community is truly safe.

We are always looking for volunteers to serve on the board or help out at the book sales. If you’d like to help, please reach out to me at d_dsneed@yahoo.com

Diana Sneed is the Friends of the Library president and book sale co-chair.

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