One stop literary shopping
Bookmarks made from the spines of literary classics will be sold at the library.

Courtesy photo

One stop literary shopping


WEST ISLIP—Folks will most likely be heading out to do some holiday shopping this weekend ahead of the Black Friday rush. They could actually get started at the West Islip Public Library. The Friends of the Library will be holding a three-day book sale that might just cross off a few items on many lists.

Friends of the West Islip Library is an auxiliary group that raises money to enhance services in the library beyond what the library budget allows. There are now approximately 200 members with around 20 or so of them active volunteers.

Friends’ president Barbara Maher said although the group sells used books at the library throughout the year, the semi-annual book sale events are very popular.

“All year long people drop off book donations – some are great, others [not so good],” Maher said. “Our volunteers go through all of them and they’re packed away after being sorted.”

The books are sorted by genre: children’s, fiction and nonfiction, etc. “We even have premium books like coffee table books and a big collection of DVDs and music CDs,” she added.

The sale begins with a preview for members on Wednesday night. On Thursday, it opens to the general public from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, bookmarks have been added to the inventory. Made from the spines of hardcover classics not suitable to sell in their entirety, they are, however, most certainly suitable to fill holiday stockings. In addition to the sale items, raffles for gift baskets are also being sold.

“It’s a busy day,” said Maher. “People come from all over.”

Library director Andrew Hamm lauded the work of Friends over the years. “They’re very significant boosters for the library,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt to have an organized corps of supporters.”

Hamm said Friends has raised on average $15,000 per year and supports the Museum Pass program there and also pays for additional concerts, beyond those paid for by the library budget. In addition, they pay for the supplies needed for making posters, which can be very costly. “It’s not that the library can’t fund the posters, it’s just that [the Friends money] allows us to do more with our funding and allows us to leverage the taxpayers’ money.

“Friends is a very valuable organization,” Hamm added.

Maher said Friends also funds the popular Shredding Day that is held in the parking lot twice annually. And this year, they are purchasing shelving needed to hold the books the group sells throughout the year.

“It has been very gratifying,” said Maher.

The West Islip Public Library is located at 3 Higbie Lane. For more information, call 631- 661-7080.