Conservation Corner

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Pauline Lee

Isn’t it easy to spend $5, $10, $20 or more to buy a book, a CD or DVD, or a jigsaw puzzle as a treat for yourself or someone special? All these objects are well made and can tolerate being used multiple times. Thus, it’s no wonder some conservation-minded residents in Sun Lakes donate these items after brief use to the bookstore in the Robson Library. The bookstore, located just past the circulation desk, is run by the volunteers from Friends of the Library (FOL). It is named after the founders, Virginia and Eve, who have recently retired after 33 years of combined time managing the sorting, pricing and shelving of donations.

Many smart shoppers have saved a bundle by shopping at the bookstore. Magazines are priced at $.10, paperbacks $.25, hardbacks and CDs $1, DVDs and current hardbacks $2. Used (clean) grocery bags are used for purchases, and the store operates entirely on the honor system with cash and checks deposited in a collection box. Donations can be dropped off in the cart in the store; slips for tax deduction are available outside the cart.

The bookstore is well stocked with every category of books: biographies and history; business; art/music, crafts, gardening, games, hobbies, animals/pet, sewing, sports and travel; cooking; children; computers and science; politics, religion, health and self-help; writing and dictionaries; and literature, romances and mysteries – including John Sanford and Sandra Brown. Large print books, few placed in other categories, usually occupy space in one bookcase inside the store entrance. Many current magazines can be found in the store, too. The wide variety of topics and the low prices attract buyers. If you can’t find a book or DVD, the FOL volunteers will even keep an eye out for your request when new donations come in.

The money collected from the bookstore has allowed the FOL to fund many projects for the benefit of our local residents. Past projects include a hearing induction loop sound system for the hearing-impaired installed in the Lecky Room; the summer reading program for children at the Robson, Guadalupe and Gila Bend branches; many Robson Library program presentations in humanities, music, hobbies and history, including special programs like the D-Day 70th Anniversary Program with presentation by Bob Welch; handicapped door opener; drive-up book return; and landscaping renovations.

To make the book recycling a success, it pays to have wide community participation. You can donate bookstore items, purchase whatever you like or join FOL and volunteer in the bookstore. We have saved money by sharing, recycling, using and enjoying books, magazines and electronic recordings. At the same time, we have reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills which are overfilled with stuff that still has useful life. And the community has benefitted from the projects undertaken with the proceeds of sales. If you haven’t participated in this community recycling service, you can visit the bookstore whenever the library is open!