Barrington library renovation could end Friends’ book sales
Tanita Sirivedhin (left) and Alisa Ratasuk shop for books Oct. 20 at what could have been the Friends of the Barrington Area Public Library's last book sale. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 21, 2013 2:15PM
BARRINGTON — The Barrington Area Library Board of Trustees met with the Friends of the Library on Dec. 10 to discuss the ongoing issue of the upcoming library renovation and how it could affect the Friends’ book sale events.
Because the book sales are the Friends’ main event, the Friends said they might have to disband if the book sales are terminated.
“Right now, we’re kind of in a holding pattern,” said Jan Goss, treasurer for the Friends group. “It would be helpful to know sooner rather than later.”
The Friends told trustees they see their book sales as community events that many Barrington area residents have attended regularly for many years. Goss said the last book sale, which occurred in October, netted about $14,000. The book sales occur between one and three times every year, Goss said.
The Friends requested the library trustees make accommodations for the book sales to continue post-renovation.
“We’d like to ask the Board, in writing preferably, to continue with our book sales,” said Wayne Tegeder, Vice President of the Friends.
Donald Minner, President of the Barrington Area Library Board of Trustees, said although the board is open to talks about keeping the book sales going, there is an apparent lack of interest in the Friends group among the community, particularly young people.
“It’s become more difficult in some respects for them to manage their sales,” said Minner.
The most prominent issue with the book sales is that there will not be adequate room to store and sort the donated books once next year’s renovation is complete. Tegeder said although the Friends may try to fund some reading programs at the library, their book sales constitute much of the Friends’ purpose.
“There has been a lot of goodwill built up over the decades with this book sale,” said Mark Spreyer, current member and past president of the Friends. “But if there’s no room for us, then they’ve clearly made the decision.”
The Friends asserted that the last book sale, in which numerous volunteers from the high school were recruited, was a success.
“A lot of people thought they received great value in the books they bought,” said Tegeder.
Minner suggested the group recruit new members, including high school students.
“But how do we recruit if we don’t know if we’re going to exist?” asked Goss.
Minner said the Board has agreed to get a small group together to look at possibilities to keep the book sales going.
“I’d prefer that the group come at it from all directions,” said Minner. “I hope everyone can be open-minded and creative.”