Friends find success during library week

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, April 15, 2012

National Library Week wrapped up Saturday with goods news for both the Lincoln County Public Library and the recently formed Friends of the Library group.

     Friends of the Library fundraising efforts brought in more than $3,000 during the week for the group.

     At a reception Saturday, Friends of the Library Secretary Linda Bruner presented library director Henry Ledet with a $2,000 check designated for the purchase of new books. Bruner believes helping to make the library better will have wide ripples.

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     “A library is the center point of a community,” Bruner said. “We’re all the same at the library, rich or poor, young or old.”

     A book sale held last week by the Friends of the Library had brought in $1,661.16 as of Friday, and Eric Kaplan estimated Saturday sales added another $300 to that total.

     A silent auction added another $1,669 to the week’s total.

     However, the Friends of the Library, formed earlier this year, has brought more than a financial benefit to the library, Ledet said.

     “If they hadn’t made any money at all, I would have been pleased just with the publicity,” said the library director.

     He pointed out foot traffic has been fairly high during the last week.

     “I saw people in the library I haven’t seen in here in years,” Ledet said.

     But Ledet is more than happy with the money and said it comes at a needed time. State funding for libraries has been cut the last three years in a row, and Ledet said the extra money will help fill in the funding gaps.

     The library doesn’t have many areas that can be cut back on, Ledet said, so when state funding goes down local libraries have less to buy books and videos.  The Friends of the Library money will enable Lincoln County’s library to step up its purchases of new items.

     While the library got a check Saturday, some local residents also went home with some new stuff.

     The winners of a silent auction were announced during Saturday’s reception. Items up for auction included old card catalog cases discarded by the library, a reading lamp donated by J. Allen’s, gift certificates to local restaurants and more.

     Silent auction winners included Pat Jacobs, Terry Moak, Pat Allen, Will Womack and Dr. Lisa Karmacharya.

     According to rough estimates, 1,000 books may have been sold during last week’s sale. Plenty of books remain, however. Plans call for the Friends of the Library to host two book sales a year in order to maximize enthusiasm.

     Most of the books were personally collected by Kaplan, who found more than 2,500 at an estate sale and another 1,000 from a church.

     Beyond helping the library, Kaplan and his wife, Janice, were glad to see local residents interested in reading.

     “I was really pleased to see people coming in and buying books,” Janice Kaplan said.