OLEAN, NY -- For 10 days each year, patrons of the Olean Public Library have the opportunity to purchase donated books to raise money for the Friends of the Olean Library, Inc., Endowment Fund.
The funds go toward the purchase of new materials for loan at the library. This year's sale began on Oct. 20 and will continue through Oct. 30.
“I think that this is a really cool way to give back to the community and the library,” said Clare Mannion, a junior strategic communications major at St. Bonaventure University.
The sale features popular genres such a smysteries, romance, westerns, science fiction and both adult and children non-fiction.
“I don’t have a lot of time to read for fun during the school year, but over the summer I read non-stop. This book sale is great because I can stock up on books for the next summer,” Mannion said.
Per the Olean library website, the Friends of the Olean Library started in 1981 after the Olean Board of Education provided several thousand dollars less than the library's budget request and the federal government reduced funding for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement jobs training program. As a result, the library was forced to reduce its full-time staff by a third and eliminate its Sunday hours. That’s when the “friends” got involved.
With help from volunteers, the library was able to resume its normal Sunday operating hours. This help continues today, according to Libby Stengel, a reference librarian.
Stengel said the friends group is a “constant advocate” for the library, and its members help out tremendously with volunteer programs. The group also provides support and volunteer work for the library's summer reading program.