The Vernon Friends of the Library are celebrating 30 years of existence as a registered non-profit society.
The group had its first sale in 1989 in the old public library quarters after the library moved across the civic plaza. From there, the Friends moved to empty stores, some of them not quite big enough to hold all the regional library‘s discards.
Eventually, Bob Davison of Davison Orchards came to the rescue and offered one of his empty storage buildings for sorting. Davison offered up his sales room for the book sale and the group said they filled it to capacity.
The number of books, now including donations from the public, became so large that they finally had to find a larger space, so they moved to the Vernon Curling Club and breathed a sigh of relief because they had room now for strollers and wheelchairs to maneuver between the aisles allowing all the customers in at one time.
Group leaders said that people often ask them what we do with the proceeds from our sales. The Vernon Friends of the Library provide funding for all of the extras or non-budget items at the library. The majority of the proceeds go towards children’s and adult programming. Proceeds also fund special items such as plants, Christmas decorations, window blinds, special cabinets, children’s area decorations, an Optilec machine for the partially sighted, and, in the past, a writer-in-residence program. They also contribute children’s programming funds to the smaller libraries for libraries in Falkland, Lumby, Cherryville, Armstrong, and Enderby. Their major project for 2019 will be the purchase of a Learning Lab for the Vernon Branch.
Vernonites have been generous over the years with donations of books and music, and, in some cases, whole libraries as people downsize or move. The ORL books plus these donations make this sale one of the best book sales in the North Okanagan, and the best book recycling event as well. Thousands of books have been recycled over the 30 years that Vernon Friends of the Library has existed.
The society currently has 13 directors and 120 volunteers. Three groups of volunteers sort books weekly from October to May.
The sale this year will have the usual fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books on offer – all sorted by subject or genre. The dates for the sale are May 2-4 at the Vernon Curling Club, 3400 39th Avenue. Opening hours are Thursday 3 p.m.-9p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
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