Although not often seen, the Friends of the Baker County Library work hundreds of hours sorting books, staffing the annual book sales, and making sure the book shop has new offerings every few weeks.
“There’s some amazing stuff in there right now,” Jen Albright, president of the Friends, said on a recent afternoon in the library’s meeting room, 2400 Resort St.
And she’d like more patrons to peruse the shelves — and in turn make room for even more books.
The Friends of the Baker County Library is a group of volunteers who support the library by helping sort book donations and also raise money to help fund library services or other special requests.
So far in 2021, the Friends of the Baker County Library have logged 226 hours.
The Friends has basically two divisions: book sales and work room.
Karylanne Brown, for instance, sorts donations and figures out which books may be a good fit for the library’s collection, such as a series that is missing one volume.
Books that are not needed for the collection are routed to the book sales, which are held twice a year — during Miners Jubilee in July and the winter sale in January and February.
Between book sales, the Friends rotate books through the book shop, which is located right inside the main entrance. Albright said they swap books in the shop about every two weeks.
Most books are priced at 50 cents or $1. One shelf is marked as “free.”
Brown is often surprised at the quality of book donations.
“I think some have been read once,” she said.
Kathy Peterson helps sort the donations by genre and condition.
“We have several categories we sort them into,” she said.
These include fiction, nonfiction, children’s, young adult, Christian, western, and science fiction.
The library is accepting donations of books. Those who have more than two boxes are asked to call for an appointment, 541-523-6419.
Albright said volunteers are always welcome to help at the book sales, which typically span two weekends and the week between.
She said volunteers who can lift heavy boxes of books are especially welcome.
Those who volunteer receive coupons to spend at the sale and the library’s book shop.
The Friends earn $5,000 to $6,000 each year, which helps fund special requests from the library and its branches.
One of the newest purchases is a subscription to BookPage, which is a monthly magazine detailing new books and stories about authors. Copies are free and available near the front desk.
Here’s a look at what the Friends fund for the library:
• Furnishings: fish tank, book carts, book ends, shelving, renovation costs, blinds, water fountain, landscape fountain
• Programs: Battle of the Books, Early Literacy, Summer Reading Program, eclipse viewers, Free Comic Book Day books, and Makers Club
• Promotions: parade candy and decorations, flags, banners, posters, and bookmarks
• Reserves: ballot measure funding and unanticipated needs, such as grant matches
• Staff development: training, appreciation, volunteer appreciation
Anyone interested in helping at the Friends’ book sales can call the library at 541-523-6419.