Guest Column: Friends of Library reopens book sales

Dr. Lynn L. Remly
President, Friends of the Hudson Library
Friends of the Hudson Library

On March 6, 2021 - almost a year to the day since our last sale - the Friends of the Hudson Library were able once again to open the doors to our popular bookstore. Like so many resources, the sale room had been closed in order to ensure that any chance of COVID infection in the library was controlled, but with new cases and fatalities down to a level acceptable to health authorities, we got the green light to go again.

The response was gratifying. As a longtime salesperson, I recognized most of our customers as regulars, and new patrons eagerly searched the shelves as well. It was a happy homecoming; even as they patiently waited for temperature checks and took care to ensure appropriate distancing, customers were grateful to renew old acquaintance and stock up on bargains.

The Friends volunteers who supply and maintain the sale have been chomping at the bit to get back to work. I’m proud to have 50 volunteers who together contributed over 3,300 hours of work in 2019 to make that year’s sales possible, and they have returned to make this year a success as well. Our patrons, including parents (especially homeschoolers), teachers, reading specialists, armchair historians, culinary artists, would-be travelers, movie buffs, and anyone looking for a good read at a reasonable price, will appreciate the benefits.

In 2019 we were able to contribute $35,000 to the Library to help support its mission. Last year, we were limited to our online sales but were still able to offer $13,000. This year is still uncertain, but we will do our best to bring in funds for the library, starting with once-a-month sales (on the first Saturday) until the governor’s office and library management are confident that we can safely return to our regular five-sales-per-week schedule.

Overall, circumstances have required that we think out-of-the-box and find new ways to operate. Though we were unable to accept donations during the past year, we are starting again, but in a drive-up format. On April 10 from 10 a.m. to noon, our volunteers will accept appropriate donations in the library parking lot and will store them in their cars for the seven-day quarantine period, after which the donations will be returned to the Friends sale room for sorting and shelving. The sales will go on.

No one can estimate what “new normal” will look like, but we’re responding as best we can to changing conditions. For now, we invite shoppers to join us on April 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to cruise our offerings. We look forward to welcoming you.

Please note: Only six patrons will be allowed in the book store at a time to allow for distancing. Temperature checks will be required on entry. We ask that customers limit their visit to 15 minutes to allow others to shop as well. For donations, please note that materials must be in good condition: we do not accept books that are torn or moldy, nor do we take encyclopedias or magazines.

As always, check the Friends website (https://www.hudsonlibrary.org/support-the-library/friends-of-the-library/) and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfTheHudsonLibrary/) for ongoing information and for pricing.