Friends of the Library hold membership drive

Eileen Ray, vice president of the Friends of the Arlington Library, sorts through the selection for the Friends
Eileen Ray, vice president of the Friends of the Arlington Library, sorts through the selection for the Friends' book sale and membership drive from May 12-17.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — While the Friends of the Arlington Library tend to conduct a two-day book sale on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of each month, they’re kicking it up a notch from Monday, May 12, through Saturday, May 17, during which they’ll be conducting their first week-long book sale and membership drive in the front lobby of the Arlington Library, located at 135 N. Washington Ave.

Eileen Ray, vice president of the Friends of the Arlington Library, hopes to double the group’s membership during this event, which she expects could become an annual event if it proves successful enough.

“We already acquired 10 new members during our last two-day book sale in April, and we usually pick up one or two new members with each sale,” Ray said. “Some of those members are able to be actively involved in our programs, while others help support us financially, which is easy to do, since it’s only $10 for a membership into the Friends. That’s less than a magazine subscription.”

Ray explained that the Friends of the Arlington Library provide funding and support for books for babies, infant play programs, summer reading programs, adult teens’ and children’s programs, and computer headphones, earbuds and flash drives, as well as dictionaries for third-graders in Arlington Lakewood and Darrington.

“We’ve upped our portion of funding for the library by 20 percent within the past year alone,” Ray said. “We hope to fund even more projects in the coming year, including scholarships. We even plan on starting a community gardening program for our children, in conjunction with the Arlington Garden Club.”

Indeed, in keeping with the Friends of the Arlington Library’s theme of “Help Us Grow,” Ray promised a packet of sunflower seeds to every new member who signs up between May 12-17, all of whom will also automatically be entered into a drawing for an exclusive basket of gardening items, valued at $60.

“We ask people at each of our sales, ‘What would you like to see?’” Ray said. “We then compile that data, for both our book sales and the programs that we help support.”

While May’s book sale will offer a typically diverse assortment of used books, often priced at $1 or less, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  that Monday through Saturday, one of its distinctive features is a collection of Civil War books, to which book sets are being added each day.

“At last count, we have at least 200 of those Civil War books, the vast majority of which are non-fiction,” Ray said. “We’ll probably be selling those for $2 each.”

The nonprofit Friends of the Arlington Library are volunteers who meet on the second Wednesday of each month, at 3:30 p.m. in the Arlington Library. All proceeds and donations are used by the group to provide funding for the Arlington Library’s special programs, which are free to the public.

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