Friends of the Willington Public Library host annual book sale

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Willington - posted Thu., Sep. 12, 2013
Friends member Kathy Lisiewski goes through the special books display. Her 24 years working for a used book store in Union has proved helpful in identifying and pricing books. Photos by Annie Gentile.
Friends member Kathy Lisiewski goes through the special books display. Her 24 years working for a used book store in Union has proved helpful in identifying and pricing books. Photos by Annie Gentile.

If there’s one thing the Friends of Willington Public Library know, it’s selling books. The all-volunteer organization collects books year round during regular library hours, then, beginning in May and for two nights a week, they begin to go through them, removing textbooks and damaged books, and then sorting the sellable books into categories. The work is all in preparation for their annual book sale at the library, which helps to both fund a variety of library programs and offset the budget.

This year’s sale was held on Saturday, Sept. 7, piggybacking on the very popular annual Willington Flea Market, hosted by the Federated Church of Willington on the Town Green.

“This past week volunteers were here all week long getting things ready,” said Friends member Kathy Lisiewski, who heads up the effort each year. Lisiewski said this is the fifth year they have held the book sale at the present library, and they held it for about another nine or 10 years before that, when the town library was just a small room at Hall School. The book sale took over the entire large meeting room downstairs, plus an additional smaller room for rare and specially-priced books.

“I used to manage a used book store, the Traveler Book Seller in Union, for 24 years. I learned a lot there about pricing and identifying books,” said Lisiewski. She said the library was very fortunate recently to benefit from the generosity of a local resident who had a collection of thousands of books in her home. “That’s something that rarely happens. She was so lovely, so nice to us,” Lisiewski said, adding that she and another helper from the library accompanied Library Director Roberta Passardi to the resident’s home and looking through the collection. “We took about 30 boxes of books,” said Lisiewski. “Roby [Passardi] kept some books for the regular collection, and I took some for the book store upstairs, and then a lot we kept for the sale. We went back twice. I even found one rare book - a small printing of a Ted Bundy book - that sold for $150 on eBay.”

The Friends of Willington Library don’t just call it a day after the Saturday sale. Starting the Monday after the sale (Sept. 9), and going through to the end of September, the Friends hold a bag sale during library hours whereby book-lovers can purchase a full bag of books of their liking for just $3.

Additionally, Lisiewski, who also works as a page at the library, regularly restocks the upstairs book shop, which helps make money for the Friends all year long. In a tip of the hat for her efforts, the book shop has been named after Lisiewski.

“We have about 20 members on paper, but about 10 that are really active,” said Lisiewski. The group holds a variety of other fundraisers, including an annual crafts fair, at least one bake sale, a vintage appraisal fundraiser, and other occasional fundraisers such as wine tastings and plant sales. “We’re small, but mighty and accomplish a lot during the year,” she said.


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