Apr 062012

A library sale and an Easter egg hunt promise fun for young and old.

Saturday April 7th, is the much awaited spring Library Sale – your chance to fill up your bookcases with all those guilty pleasure reads, while feeling good you are funding the library’s children programs.  It starts at 9 AM for “Friends of the Library” members (you can become a member on the spot, it’s $10 for individuals and $15 for families) and at 11 AM for non-members.

Note: the professional book resellers get there first and they race with their scanners to get the best books – so if you’re looking for something in particular go early and hurry to the book section of your choice.  And don’t let the pro’s intimidate you – they can be quite pushy, literally.  If one is being particularly aggressive, ask library staff for help.

For those who are new to the sale, it takes place in the Karp room, at the back of the library, but you enter through the entrance.  Professional resellers start lining up at 8 AM or so, but the library doors don’t open until 8:40 AM or so, so if you go early bring a jacket to wait outside.  Once inside, you continue lining up until the doors to the Karp room open at 9 AM. The librarian will check that everyone waiting in line is a Friends member, and if you are not, she’ll direct you to the front of the line where you can pay for your membership.

Friends of the Library has a spread of sweets and juice outside the room – but try them on your way out, otherwise you may miss that book you really want.

Once inside the room, you’ll see books organized on tables according to subject.  Fiction is towards the front (adult fiction nearest the doors, with children’s fiction to the left, when facing the tables.    Non-fiction topics are usually behind these, but they vary on what side they’re in.  Cookbooks and gardening are usually towards the back, in the right side of the room.  The tables against the wall often have non-book stuff (games, stationary, etc.) – but these area usually overpriced.  There is a section in the left-back corner for “rare and special” books.

You can usually find a box to put your books, or buy one of their “Friends of the library” bags, but it’s best if you bring your own, sturdy, bag.  Bring more than you think  you’ll need.

I don’t remember the exact prices for books, they are posted on the walls, but they’re ridiculously cheap.  We usually end up taking home 2 or 3 piles of books for something like $20 (but that’s because softcover children books are only 25-cents, I think).

And finally, a big personal thanks to all the Friends of the Library volunteers who put up this incredible event, including our head librarian Nancy Fong, who is one of the most energetic people I’ve ever met.   I only know most of the volunteers by sight, but I’m in awe about their commitment to our community.

On that note, Marcia Karp, one of those tireless volunteers (and widow of former Mayor Davis Karp, after whom the room was named) passed away last Monday.  My sympathies go to her family and friends.

If books don’t do it for you, and you are under 10 yo, then the Easter egg hunt at Marina Park is for you.  Kids will be separated into age groups to look for very badly concealed plastic eggs filled with pre-wrapped candy.  Expect joy, jealousy and tears. And pushy parents; forget the book resellers, it’s the parents and their elbows that you need to worry about! You can blame the Easter Bunny, I’m sure.  Alas, my youngest will be there.

Have fun! And have a happy Passover, a happy World Health Day, and a happy Easter.  And, on a more somber note, take some time Saturday to remember the victims of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.  No angels came to save those 800,000 people from being hacked to death by their neighbors and friends.  There were no miracle resurrections to epitomize their last spring.  They must live in our memories or not live at all.  One day a year, at least, let’s let them have that light.

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