Eager Whistler readers are gearing up again for the twice-yearly Giant Used Book Sale this Saturday (Oct. 12). Organizers of the event, the Friends of the Whistler Public Library, say the sale has become one of the staple events for Thanksgiving long weekend in Whistler, never without a huge response in both donations and from buyers.
“People know about this sale … we have locals who make it to every one we’ve held, and we actually have people with places in Whistler who come from far away to make sure they’re here for the book sale — even from as far away as Virginia,” said Jane Reid, co-char of Friends of the Whistler Public Library (WPL).
Book collection boxes have been out for several weeks, receiving a wide assortment of fiction and non-fiction for readers of all ages and levels. The books will be sorted by genre and author for easy browsing.
“If you just have a bunch of boxes people have to fish through, people aren’t going to find what they’re looking for,” Reid said.
The boxes will be open for donations until Friday noon (Oct. 11) at the Whistler Public Library, Nesters Market and TD Bank.
Books are sold by donation. All funds raised go to the WPL and area school libraries. The first book sale raised $1,500, while last year it set a record with $5,450. After 25 book sales it’s roughly estimated that $80,000 has been raised.
The Giant Used Book Sale is served well by the high number of avid readers in Whistler, many of whom rely on the sale for donating their old favorites, and replenishing their winter reading pile.
The Giant Used Book Sale will be held Saturday (Oct.12) in front of IGA from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It’s Library Month in B.C. .
The used book sale coincides with the official Library Month in B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender proclaimed October’s designation earlier this month to coincide with the Canadian Library Association’s naming of October as Canadian Library Month, which this year follows the theme of “Libraries Connect.”
“Libraries are about building a strong community,” said Nadine White, public services librarian at WPL. “Libraries provide a connection. It can be a physical space where people connect, or it can be about connecting people with the services they need, or the information they need.”
Last year, according to WPL, more than 14,000 people attended 809 programs hosted at the library. Programs include everything from ESL and creative-writing workshops, to service-oriented sessions with WorkBC.
“We partner with other organizations in the community and offer space in a centralized location. People don’t have to come and just check out books, but tap into the resources of actual people.”
People that primarily use the library to take out books and media are still strongly represented at the library. Out of a community with just over 10,000 permanent residents, the WPL boasts 15,000 cardholders. Last year 1,420 people signed up as new cardholders, while this year the number has already passed 1,570.
Overall the library serves about 25,000 visitors per year for various purposes. Strong numbers are helped by a new initiative aimed at reducing barriers to obtaining a library card.
“We looked at what you have to prove to get a card, and definitely relaxed that. We came up to where people are now. It’s much more about email addresses and phone numbers than physical addresses.”
White added many would-be visitors don’t understand that everything at the library, including membership, is free — whether it is for Internet use, checking out a DVD or going the old-fashioned route and simply taking a book home.