Saturday, October 6, 2012

Last sale at old Middletown library

People looking through boxes of books at Middletown library
Image added Oct. 13: ‘Friends’ book sale, Middletown library
The Middletown Library is holding its semi-annual booksale, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Saturday. According to Fran Rand, secretary of Friends of the Middletown Gibson Library (FMGL), this will be the last book sale at the old library.

Since I shelve books nearly every Saturday at the Middletown library, I have a direct view from across the highway of the new library building. In July, a news report placed it near 50-percent completion.

Shelving books presents a unique challenge with a growing library inventory to serve a growing community in a space that has been outgrown.

Even with the coming and going of library materials between our Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma County libraries, the library collection is still much larger than the space that houses it.

The Middletown branch library was originally dedicated in May 1929, according to a history of the Chauncey W. Gibson Library that was compiled by Jan Cook.

The library was named to honor an Oakland resident who first donated a large number of books and then funded construction of a permanent building for Middletown’s first library.

According to Cook’s history, Gibson made his offer on the condition that Middletown’s citizens would provide the land. The complete history was published in Fall 2009 issue of Booknotes, a newsletter for the Friends of the Lake County Library.

 At 1,790-square-feet, the current Middletown library served its community well but the new site’s 5,450-square-feet is a vital necessity.

I hope next Saturday’s sale does well; the Friends’ June book sale raised $877.50 according to David Petri, president of FMGL.

A grocery bag full of books will cost $5 and a bag full of paperbacks will cost $3. Funds earned from the booksale will be used to purchase new materials for the new library.

Volunteers are needed to help with set-up at 7:30 a.m. and with tear-down at 3:30 p.m. As explained by a similar request in June, setup involves moving boxes of books on hand trucks to appropriate tables, setting up tables, tent awnings, signs and general help. The tear-down crew does all of the above in reverse.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Middletown Library director Gehlen Palmer at 707-987-3674 during library hours.

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