'Friends' view Douglas Library as center of community

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Tue., Aug. 6, 2013
The Douglas Library hosts several book sales throughout the year, which help to pay for special programs and events. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

The Friends of the Douglas Library display recently got a facelift. The main floor of the library now features a newly-expanded variety of books for purchase. In addition to a special shelf for gift books, there are also sections dedicated to specific popular authors and non-fiction topics. Shelves include larger-sized trade paperbacks, small paperbacks and hardcover fiction titles for purchase, as well as an area dedicated to DVDs and audio books. Contributing to the display were a number of Friends volunteers, including students Maeve and Megan Howard, Danny and Liam Keleher, Lauren Escott and Katelyn Royce, as well as numerous adult volunteers.

The Friends of the Douglas Library are “all geared toward book sales,” said member Maureen Johnson. Ongoing sales, as well as larger events held periodically throughout the year, raise money to pay for a variety of library service enhancements, including books on CD, library passes, large-print books, magazine subscriptions, children’s summer programs and adult programs, according to Johnson.

Johnson’s daughter Maeve, entering her junior year at RHAM High School, has been volunteering for the Friends for eight years. Much of her time has been spent helping to get ready for the larger periodic sales. “During the year we take the donations that come in and sort them by category and condition,” said Maeve. “It’s not hard work, and it’s definitely fun,” she added. And patrons of the book sales seem to appreciate how well-organized and well-priced the book sales are. “It’s really good to see how people react to that,” said Maeve.

Younger sister Megan, entering her freshman year at RHAM, agreed that volunteering can be a lot of fun. “The people you meet are interesting,” she said. Like the Johnsons, most fellow volunteers are book-lovers. “It’s a really friendly group,” said Megan.

Though the bin outside of the library is intended only for book donations, the Johnsons said they have found some interesting items when they’ve gone in for sorting. Toys, binders full of papers, a portable CD player - all have found their way into the bin. Among the more interesting items were a bag full of shark teeth and a granite sample from one of the big box stores. “I think we’re still using the granite as a door stop,” said Maureen, with a laugh.

The Johnsons feel it is important to support the local library. “It’s just the center of the community,” said Maureen, adding that, during recent power outages, the library was one of the few buildings in the area that had power and air conditioning. During a recession, especially, said Maureen, the library becomes an important source of entertainment, providing books on CD, e-books, DVDs, computer access and magazines, among other things, for the local community. “I think the library is the center of the town,” said Maureen.

The Friends of the Douglas Library sort books every Tuesday morning, beginning at 10 a.m. More volunteers are always needed, especially during the school year, when teens are unavailable. For anyone interested in becoming a Friend of the Douglas Library, there are forms at the main desk as well as on the updated book display, or e-mail secretary Chris Andrulitis at chrisander@comcast.net for more information.

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