Column: Library’s bookstore supports other programs

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The Carmel Clay Public Library is often recognized for a variety of exceptional qualities.

Landis

Landis

We assume it is the best place to go in order to figure out the names of the three middle ear bones which distinguish mammals from reptiles.

When a Saturday afternoon turns rainy, a quick trip to the library can easily produce a fictional escape to another time and place. The library even has an area to pick-up a coffee drink or a chocolate chip cookie.

But how many of you would expect to not just borrow a book at the library, but buy one?

Behind the door marked Friends Library Bookstore in the main entrance hallway, is a cozy retail outlet for gently-used books, DVD’s and audiobooks. A bookstore within a library managed by volunteers – how clever.

Head volunteer Sharon Landis runs the operation and has been doing so for the past four years. She is assisted by an additional 28 unpaid assistants who not only run the store, but process donations and pick out books for inclusion in the collection.

“This is my chance to give back to my community. I have a degree in Library Science, so this opportunity gives me a way to use my skills and contribute,” Landis said. “I enjoy working with books and people and with my daughter grown, now I have the time to do this.”

She was quick to give credit to the volunteers who show up each week to staff the store during shopping hours. Couples like Bruce and Jan Reynolds or Alan and Sue Potasnik who loyally appear each week to greet browsers in search of their next discounted literary treasure.

Alan Potasnik said, “Sharon is the type of volunteer all of us dream of working with. She is a tireless worker, both in the store and at the semi-annual book sale. She puts in more time gratis and covers so many things out of her own pocket so that the store doesn’t have to. She defines hard work and dedication.”

The revenue generated from sales of $3 hardcover books and $1 mass-market paperbacks adds up. But the funds are put to good use and go exclusively towards supporting programming for library users.

Thanks to Landis and her team of volunteers, you now have the option to not just borrow a book, but purchase one and never return it.

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