Reduce, reuse and recycle is a popular slogan these days, encouraging us to find ways to conserve resources, repurpose things we already own and share with each other rather than always buying new to meet neighborhood or family needs. The public library has fit into this concept of pooling and sharing resources ever since Ben Franklin established the first public lending library in 1790 in Franklin, Mass. The Urbana community embraces this concept by using the library heavily, donating books to the library, and patronizing the Friends of the Library book sale. Held semi-annually, the book sale is organized and run by the local Friends of the Urbana Regional Library (FURL), and all proceeds benefit the library. The next sale will be held Saturday, Sept. 20, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 21, 1 – 5 p.m. Members of FURL are allowed into the sale beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Where does FURL get the books to sell at the book sale? Through the generous donations that people in the community make to the library. As people move, clean house or redecorate, they often want to clear their bookshelves. Being book lovers, they don’t want to throw their books away, so they naturally think of the library (and we are so glad they do). Staff members from the library then cull through the donations to pull out the high demand items, which are then added to the library shelves. Those books that are left are then passed along to FURL, and a group of dedicated volunteers comes every couple of weeks, sorts them into genres and boxes them up so they are organized when book sale weekend rolls around again.
Each year in March and September, the community that loves to read comes out to shop the FURL book sale, and the proceeds from that sale come back to the library in many forms: funds to buy train tables, LEGOs™, puppets, entertainer fees, and other program supplies that we could not afford to buy if not for the support of FURL. FURL also supports the annual summer reading program, which provides activities and prizes to encourage kids to keep reading and learning all summer long.
The Friends is composed of dedicated members who despite their small number manage to accomplish all this through their hard work and their belief in the importance of the library as a hub where the community comes to learn, connect and grow. As dedicated as they are, they’d love to have more help! If you would like to learn more about volunteering with the Friends, contact the library at 301.600.7004.
Don’t have a library card? September is National Library Card Sign-up Month, so visit the library today to get yours! All you need is proof of your current address, such as a driver’s license, lease or piece of cancelled mail. For all your information needs, visit www.fcpl.org or call the library at 301.600.7000.