Friends of the Library during the pandemic

Like so many endeavors, Friends activities have greatly changed to help cope with the pandemic.

The Library closed to the public in March, making the used book sale in April and this month impossible. 

If you picture our typical book sale in the Rogers Room—crowds of people gathered indoors to handle thousands of books, assisted by volunteers, most of whom are over 60—it is obvious that we could not have followed Covid19 protection protocols.   Whether we will be able to hold a sale in the Spring of 2021 remains a question.  We have more than 400 boxes of books, sorted by category for the sale, in storage.

During the closure, library staff continues to work in the Library.  In June, Friends volunteers joined them.  To maintain social distancing, we are allowed one Friends volunteer at a time to work on the mezzanine, in the Friends work area.  

We resumed book sales online in June.  Business has been good.  The June through September sales in 2020 are more than 50% greater than those in the same months of 2019.

The Library started accepting book donations in August.  Along with all materials coming into the Library, donations must be quarantined for 5 days.  After that, library staff looks through the donations for books they want to add to the Library’s collection.  Then Friends checks the books against the Amazon database, listing those valued at over $8 if they are in good enough condition. 

We are also setting aside books in good condition for several purposes:

  1. Distribution to the little libraries in the community,
  2. Grab bags of children’s books that will be labeled by reading level,
  3. Future book cart sales in the Library,
  4. Books to offer teachers for their in-class libraries

To help with online sales and these other objectives, we need donations of books in good condition.  There is a bin for book donations near the southeast entrance to the Library.  If you have more than a couple of bags of donations, please call Mike Smith, 503 530-9353, to schedule your donation.

Friends have funded library outreach efforts during the pandemic.  For the Summer Reading Program, library staff assembled pizza boxes of books for young readers.  Over 1700 were passed out at the back door of the Library and 300+ more were distributed at outreach sites including the free meals programs in the parks.  Twelve hundred “Take and Make” kits were also distributed.  More of these will be sent out, coordinated with the schools.

Library slowly emerging from pandemic lock-down

Here are the latest Frequently Asked Questions how our Library is opening for business during the pandemic.
Mike Smith, President of Friends of the Forest Grove Library

When can I pick up my existing holds and return materials?

You will be notified by email or by phone when your holds are ready for pickup.  Curbside pickup for requested items on the southside of the library is available beginning Monday June 15th from 9:30-5:30 pm Monday-Saturday.  At this time we are also accepting returns during all curbside pickup hours.

When can I begin placing NEW holds for items I want?

We are now answering phones and began accepting requests for new holds beginning Monday June 8th.  You can call us Monday-Saturday from 9:30 am- 5:30 pm at 503 992-3247. Starting Monday June 22nd you will be able to place your own holds in the catalog. 

Be aware, however, that some libraries are not yet lending items so you will want to prioritize items currently available at the Forest Grove Library if you wish to have your request filled quickly.

I have a different question. Can someone help?

Yes!  Call us at 503 992-3247.  You can also contact a Librarian on our website at https://www.forestgrove-or.gov/library/webform/contact-librarian or call the Reference Desk at 503 992-3337.

What about printing?

Send your print jobs through the library’s wireless and they will print up to 10 pages for you, no charge.  Delivery of wireless prints will be available curbside beginning June 22nd. Please call 503-992-3247 when you arrive to have a print to be delivered curbside.

When will I be able to come into the Library?

There is as yet no specific date when the Library will again be fully open to the public.  We are working with staff at WCCLS and carefully following Executive Orders established by the Governor and the guidelines of Washington County Health and Human Services regarding the opening of public facilities with necessary restrictions and safety protocols.

Spring 2020 Used Book Sale put on hold

In response to the Coronavirus threat, to comply with city and state mandates and, most of all, for the safety of everyone, the scheduled Friends used book sale has been postponed until we can reschedule.
When a new date can be set we will post it on this website.
Be well, be safe, hunker down if you can.

On-going book sale in the Library

Friends are selling donated books in the Library all the time!  Look for a magenta book truck in the main entrance area.  You’ll find donated books in great condition with new stock on a regular basis.  Prices are marked on green stickers just inside the cover.  Most are going for $3.  Pay at the Circulation (or “checkout”) desk: cash or checks, please.three

As ever, all proceeds go to the Library!

What happens to the books you donate?

Books and other materials donated to the Forest Grove City Library are first reviewed by Library Staff to see if they should be added to the Library’s inventory.

For those that are not selected, and for books de-selected from the Library collection by staff, Friends of the Library volunteers check used book prices online to pick out those that are valued at $8 or more. Most of them will be put on sale at Amazon.com under Friends’ dealership name, “forestgrovelibraryfriends.”  Friends have more than 1,200 books on sale through Amazon and these online sales will net more than $5,000 for the Library during the Friends fiscal year.

Books in good condition that are not selected for online sales are sorted by Friends volunteers for the twice-a-year book sales and for ongoing sales in the library. The twice-a-year sales are Friends’ primary income source.  They have been making about $10,000 a year.  The ongoing in-library sales are a new Friends project.

Books left over from the twice-a-year sales are picked up by a private company, Better World Books. They sell books online and they also send books overseas to private non-profit organizations.  They also  provide us free boxes, free pick-up and give us a portion of their proceeds from sale of our books.

Making money for the Library is Friends’ first strategic priority but this process for library donations and discards has other benefits: (1) Between donations and discards, the library has around 12,000 books to dispose of every six months, (2) turning donations away would be bad for the Library’s public relations, (3) friends efforts make money for library programs and help recirculate these books in our own community.

Help Friends Help Your Library

Have your income taxes done at H&R Block, and take this form to your Block Tax Professional.  If you are a new Block customer, the company will give $20 to Friends of the Forest Grove Library.

Another way to easily donate to Friends is through the AmazonSmile program.  When Amazon customers log on through the smile.amazon.com site, 0.5% of the sales price of most of the items they purchase will be donated by the Amazon Foundation to Friends of the Forest Grove Library.  No cost is incurred by either the purchaser or Friends.  None of the purchaser’s privileges at Amazon (Amazon Prime benefits, for example) are affected when buying through AmazonSmile.

The first time you log on to smile.amazon.com, you will be asked to name the non-profit organization of your choice.  To do so, there is a search option.  The registered name for Friends is Friends of the Forest Grove Public Library, Inc.

This is an easy way to help your Friends of the Library and your Forest Grove City Library at no cost to you!  Make it a habit to log on to Amazon through smile.amazon.com.

 Or write a check!  We don’t have a ‘donate button’ on this website yet but don’t let that stop you from donating to Friends! Send your check, with a note that it’s a donation, to: Friends of the Forest Grove Library 2114 Pacific Ave. Forest Grove, OR 97116

Friends’ federal tax ID: 93-6089869

Support Friends of the Library: buy online through AmazonSmile

Friends of the Forest Grove Library now benefits from the AmazonSmile program.

When Amazon customers log on through the smile.amazon.com site, .05% of the sales price of most of the items they purchase will be donated by the Amazon Foundation to Friends of the Forest Grove Library.  No cost is incurred by either the purchaser or Friends.  None of the purchaser’s privileges at Amazon (Amazon Prime benefits, for example) are affected when buying through AmazonSmile.

The first time you log on to smile.amazon.com, you will be asked to name the non-profit organization of your choice.  To do so, there is a search option.  The registered name for Friends is Friends of the Forest Grove Public Library, Inc.

This is an easy way to help your Friends of the Library and your Forest Grove City Library at no cost to you!  Make it a habit to log on to Amazon through smile.amazon.com.

 

Why Libraries?

People who sit in front of their computers all day pontificating are asking why, with all this information technology, do we still need bricks-and-mortar libraries?

The library is a community center where people go to get good information and entertainment free of direct charge: 

  • It is a place where everyone is welcome 
  • Where they can find a quiet place to sit. 
  • As in other (increasingly rare) ‘third places,’ people visiting the library run into people they know: that helps build community
  • The library has meeting rooms that provide neutral territory for public discussion of public issues. 
  • It enhances life in its community and is a point of public pride.
  • It increases property values in its community
  • It is an inheritance for future generations
  • It is a place to go to help find needed information without being charged and without pressure to buy something. 
  • It is a place where a torrent of information is turned into useful knowledge.
  • The public library building is like a public park for the mind and it is open 12 months a year.  People use it in any weather and the play equipment is amazing!
  • For the have-nots, whose numbers are increasing, public library buildings provide:
  • broadband access,
  • free computers,
  • advice from trained professionals,
  • access to the arts,
  • access to the best of our country’s culture,
  • help learning English,
  • help raising literate children,
  • help finding a job,
  • and access to an economic system that demands they communicate via the Internet.

 More people are going to bricks-and-mortar libraries than ever.  [Put down those Oreos, turn off your computer, see the light of day and visit a real public library, oh geek.]  No other public institution exists for the purpose of providing free information to anyone.

 More background/perspective:

From Dan Duray, “Rescuing the Stacks”, New York Observer, 6/6/2010:

http://www.observer.com/2010/culture/rescuing-stacks

“The public library is the most powerful and cost-effective wealth-transfer mechanism ever invented. Instead of simply ameliorating problems, libraries create opportunity. As generations have learned, the aisle between the shelves is a corridor out of poverty, a bypass around inadequate schools, an expressway that adds momentum to even a first-rate education.”

Will Sherman, “33 Reasons why Libraries and Librarians Are Still Extremely Important”
http://www.collegeonline.org/library/adult-continued-education/librarians-needed

 Among the reasons:

  • ·         Not everything is available on the internet
  • ·         Internet complements libraries but does not replace them
  • ·         School libraries and librarians improve student test scores
  • ·         Digitization is going to take a while; a long while
  • ·         Libraries aren’t just books
  • ·         The [ebook] hype might really just be hype
  • ·         Google Book Search “don’t work”
  • ·         Physical libraries can adapt to cultural change
  • ·         Physical libraries are adapting to cultural change
  • ·         The internet isn’t DIY
  • ·         The internet is a mess
  • ·         The internet is subject to manipulation
  • ·         Libraries can preserve the book experience
  • ·         Libraries are stable while the web is transient
  • ·         Not everyone has access to the internet
  • ·         Not everyone can afford books
  • ·         Libraries are a stopgap to anti-intellectualism:

“It’s not that the internet is anti-intellectual; its academic roots and the immense quantity of scholarly sites certainly attest to it being a smart medium…

[but] Access to books and theories from hundreds of years of cultural history is essential to progress. Without this, technology could become the ironic tool of the sensational and retrograde cultural tendencies. Preserving libraries to store knowledge and teach the limitations of technology can help prevent the hubris and narcissism of technological novelty.”

More on ‘why the public library?’

http://www.alternet.org/story/150819/why_is_one_us_city_stripping_the_word_%27public%27_from_public_library 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/13/internet-age-still-need-libraries

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/06/opinion/la-oe-johnson-libraries-20100706

Where Friends’ Money Goes

As you can see, below, Friends of the Forest Grove Library has many activities to raise funds.  The Forest Grove Library Foundation’s Capital Campaign is one obvious recipient.  On what else does Friends’ spend their hard earned money?

Cultural programs
Friends have scheduled and sponsored a series of cultural programs, which include lectures and music, each winter and spring, for decades.  They have made Forest Grove’s contribution to the countywide Hearing Voices program and they fund the Adult Summer Reading Program.   

Forest Grove Conversations
Friends have financed and organized this annual topical program featuring panelists and a town hall discussion.

Teen programs including the Teen Summer Reading Program

Children’s programs
Since Friends started in 1973, they have been the major contributor to the Library’s children’s programs.  These include the annual B.E.A.R. Month, Dia de los Ninos and Summer Reading Program.

Volunteer recognition events, Wassail Party and equipment for the Library.

Capital campaigns
Friends of the Forest Grove Library was a major contributor to the Forest Grove Library Foundation’s million dollar capital campaign that remodeled the west end of the Library and will be an important contributor to the Foundation’s current $500,000 campaign for library furniture and equipment.

Friends used book sale goes online

In addition to Friends’ twice yearly book sales at the Library, we have begun selling donated books online.  Friends has become one of the many organizations selling through Amazon.  We list books in Amazon’s huge database and have the advantage of participating in that gigantic marketplace.  So far 80 books have been listed and 11 sold at an average sales price of over $24.  
If you would like to see all the books we have for sale online, go to Amazon, choose the book catagory for your search and enter forestgrovelibraryfriends in the search box.
We need more books!  The books you donate to the Forest Grove City Library are (1) considered for addition to the Library, (2) checked for prices online–those with low prices over $10 are usually added to our Amazon listings–or, (3) the books are sold at our twice a year sale.
Please give us your unwanted books!  Just drop them off at the Library or call the Library 503-992-3247  to arrange to have them picked up by Friends volunteers.
Every cent Friends makes goes toward your Forest Grove community library!