By WIL FULTON
Delayed by Hurricane Sandy, the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library finally went ahead with the group’s annual used-book sale at the West Front Street facility this weekend.
According to the Friends president Beth Hanratty, the three-day event is designed to bring community awareness and support to the library as well as promote a love of books and reading in general.
Theres been tremendous support so far today, Hanratty said Saturday. We have been thrilled about the turnout.
Thousands of books are donated to the library to be sold in the annual sale, according to director Virginia Papandrea. She said she expected several thousand dollars worth of funds to be gained throughout the weekends events, which included a wine and cheese reception Friday night, the book sale on Saturday afternoon, and a final bag sale ($5 a bag) to be held on Monday.
Papandrea described the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library as a non-profit organization that serves as the face of the library throughout the community, aiding the library with funds gained from events like the book sale.
The books were sold $1 for trade-paperbacks and $2 for hard-covers, and were separated into numerous categories, including faith and philosophy, biography, and classic poetry. Limited editions and pricy art-books were also on sale, as well as CDs, DVDs, and even VHS cassette tapes.
It seems as though poetry and the classics were a hottest items this year, Hanratty said. Its always interesting to see what sells on year and what doesn’t.
Friday night’s reception drew more than 150 attendees, including several borough councilmembers and Mayor Pasquale Menna, to show their support.
It was a beautiful event, Papandrea said, We had live music, candlelight, and tremendously positive turnout.
We had over 31 baskets donated to us from local-businesses, Hanratty said, Its great to see locally-owned businesses like the Dublin House and Hair and Company show their support for the community, and the Womens Club put on a great bake sale as well to help raise some money.
Library circulation director and outreach coordinator Linda Hewitt stressed the need for events like this in order to keep the library afloat in a troubled financial period.
Simply put, the library needs financial support very badly, Hewitt said, Our staff even had to cut back their hours as a result of low-funds. We need all the support we can get, and thankfully we have hundreds of volunteers, like the Friends, to help us raise the money we need to keep the library going.