SOMERS, N.Y. - The Somers Library Foundation’s first-ever book sale was a huge draw for the community, bringing in thousands of people and raising more than $8,000 for the library.
Jamie Hasl and Mary Graham, co-chairs of the foundation’s book sale committee, called it a “huge success” as it brought together the efforts of residents around the town who volunteered many hours of their time from April 20-23.
“We were glad to hear lots of people tell us the quality of the books we had and the organization was really appreciated,” Hasl said. “They said it was exceptional. I’m really proud of our volunteers. We had lots of fun together and people made new friends. We credit them for helping us produce the best library fundraiser in many years.”
The Somers Library Foundation was founded in 2011 to raise money for projects that beautify, modernize and enrich the offerings and capabilities for the library. There hadn’t been a book sale at the library in many years, so when the foundation suggested it, the library told them to run with it.
The calls for donated items in the weeks leading up to the sale brought it over 23,000 items, which Graham and Hasl worked with Sebastian Capital to store safely. Sebastian Capital owns the former IBM and Pepsi buildings on Route 35. When the foundation needed a space to store everything, the property managmenet company opened up the old IBM property and provided some of the labor to help move the 450 boxes of books in and out of the building.
“They were so accommodating,” Hasl said. “The people who work on site for the Sebastian Capital, they were like family to us. They could not have been nicer. One of them even came to the sale and brought his mom.”
Best Plumbing Tile & Stone provided the foundation with the money to pay for the moving trucks and the Somers Volunteer
Fire Department let the foundation borrow tables for all the items during the event.
“It made the sale,” Hasl said of the tables. “It helped us organize everything. We were able to present it so nicely because they were willing to do that for us.”
On the day of the sale, students from the high school, including the Somers High School football team, were on hand to help with the heavy lifting.
“They worked really hard,” Hasl said. “We were able to move 450 boxes over a three-hour period.”
The most important thing, however, was the overwhelming response from the community.
“We estimated more than 1,200 came through and bought books, music and movies,” Hasl said. “Our goal was to fundraise, but we also really wanted to connect the library with the community.”
Leftover items will be donated to the schools, homeless shelters, senior centers and other nonprofit organizations.
“We want the books to have a home,” Graham said.
The co-chairs are already planning next year’s sale and are working with the Library Board of Trustees on what the money will go toward.
“We’ve been able to make some recent improvements,” Hasl said. “We had people come through the sale and say, I really love what you’re doing for the library.”