ARLINGTON — If you missed the Friends of the Arlington Library's book sale on Nov. 12-13, don't worry, because they'll be back on Dec. 10-11.
"We're here in the lobby of the library on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of each month, and we make about $200 from each lobby book sale," said Eileen Ray, vice president of the Friends of the Arlington Library. "We also get at least one new member every month from the book sales."
"And everything we get from these sales goes right back into the library, usually for the kids," said fellow Friends of the Arlington Library member Char O'Neal.
While the Friends of the Arlington Library sponsor programs for library patrons of all ages, they take special care to try and foster a love of reading in children, not only by supplying free dictionaries to the third-grade students of the Arlington, Lakewood and Darrington school districts, but also by sponsoring many of the programs that Arlington Children's Librarian Lesla Ojeda presents throughout the year.
"They fund a lot of things for us, and not just the obvious things," Ojeda said. "They help us get different performers every year, from Scott Peterson the 'Reptile Man' to magician Jeff Evans, and even Charlie Williams the 'Noise Guy.' We've gotten exhibits from Sarvey Wildlife and the Pacific Science Center thanks to them, but they've also helped us out with our regular storytime programs for children."
Ojeda credited the Friends of the Library with providing baby toys and board books for younger readers, the latter so that their little fingers can learn to turn the pages of regular books.
"When we did our 'Forensics Detective Academy' for kids this past spring, the Friends of the Library gave us the money to buy the plaster of Paris to make plaster casts of footprints," Ojeda said. "When the Arlington Library does outreach at community events like the Street Fair, who do you think helps us supply free crafts activities and button-making for the kids?"
From contributing to gingerbread housing-making during the winter vacation, to buying the books that wind up becoming prizes in the summer reading program, Ojeda identified the Friends of the Arlington Library's fingerprints in any number of the programs that she oversees, even when it's as simple as furnishing snacks for the kids in youth book groups.
"Whether it's big-name performers or little tiny things, I literally don't know what we would do without them," Ojeda said.
The Friends of the Arlington Library have additionally furnished the library with a copy machine, a PC with a flash drive, and a number of recovered furniture items. Ray encouraged those who might be interested in joining the group to attend one of its meetings, on the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. in the library.
"We've got the best prices in town," Ray said of the book sales. "We carry a variety of things, even including VCR tapes and CDs, and all of it is donated."
For more information on the Friends of the Arlington Library, log onto www.sno-isle.org/?ID=1275.