Letter To The Editor: MBTS Book Fair Books Besieged!


To the Editor,

The Town looks forward to it every year—the annual Book Fair, sponsored by Friends of the Manchester Library.  For months before the fair, busy volunteers organize, catalog and price books generously donated by citizens, as well as older library books taken out of circulation.  On a (hopefully) sunny day in August, the library lawn would be a maze of tables laden with books and crowded with readers young and old, thrilled with their purchases of long-sought volumes at rock-bottom prices.

But not this year.

Books for the sale were stored in the basement of the library, awaiting their debut on the day of the sale; but Mother Nature had other ideas.  The drenching rains of July made their way into the basement, soaking volumes stored on lower shelves.  Many of those above were subjected to the resulting dampness and humidity, making them susceptible to mold and mildew.  The greater part of the Book Fair inventory, consisting of hundreds of books, was lost.

The Friends of the Library’s annual Book Fair is a main source of revenue for the library itself.  Without this event, new acquisitions, programs and improvements may suffer.  This loss will also have an impact on those who rely on the library for so much.

Want to help?

In an effort to generate income that otherwise would have come from the Book Fair, the Friends of the Library are reaching out to the community for help.  Available for purchase are sturdy, useful aprons emblazoned with the phrase, “Friends of the Manchester Library.”  Each ecru-colored apron has contrasting navy blue script, two front pockets and adjustable neck and waist ties. Whether you’re cooking, gardening or painting your next masterpiece, you’ll wish you had ordered more than one!  The cost is $15 for each apron.

Also available are Friends of the Manchester Library “chilly packs.”  These handy insulated packs are great for snacks, lunches, water bottles and non-food necessities.  They can be worn as shoulder bags, cross-body bags or fanny packs.  The chilly packs also proclaim your support for the Manchester library, and in spiffy neon green and black, they are unlikely to get lost.  The cost of each pack is $15.

Finally, you can help with a monetary donation.  The Friends of the Library are grateful to the many citizens who responded so generously to the fund drive early in the Spring.  But for the loss of the Book Fair inventory, this second appeal would not be made. Please show your support once again with a donation.  Checks made payable to “Friends of the Manchester Library” should be sent to the Friends in care of the Manchester Library, 15 Union St., Manchester, MA 01944.

If you are interested in one or more aprons or “chilly packs,” remember that the cost is $15 for each item.   Drop us a note stating what you would like, and how many.  Please enclose a check for the items.  The Friends will see that they get delivered right to your door!  For those who want instant gratification, Friends of the Library will be selling aprons and chilly packs live and in person from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, August 7 at the library.

Last but certainly not least, those books that did not suffer irreparable water damage have been put on red carts at the library.  They are free to anyone, so come take a look and pick a book.  A red cart with salvaged books has also been set up at Singing Beach, where beach goers can find a read for days of sun, sand and sea.  These are also free.

Manchester’s citizens have pulled together in the face of many difficult situations. The Friends hope this will be one of those times when communal effort prevails, and they thank you for your support.

Friends of Manchester Library

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