For decades, the Friends of the Sumner Library group has been making a difference at the Pierce County Sumner Library with its book sales.
The money its members raise helps the library with extra events and supplies that it wouldn’t normally have otherwise.
But in recent years, the members, who meet monthly, have noticed that the amount of money they raise has been dwindling. This year, they’re trying to change that.
“(Funding) has been going down each year, so we’re trying something new,” said president Paulette Bridges. “We’re going to try something innovative.”
Never miss a local story.
(Funding) has been going down each year, so we’re trying something new. We’re going to try something innovative.
Paulette Bridges, president of Friends of the Sumner Library
Friends of the Sumner Library’s Used Book Sale is now becoming the Used Book & Purse Sale. Bridges got the idea to sell purses after finding a similar program that had worked in another library.
“The idea had been generated and tried in the Midwest,” Bridges said. “So I started collecting purses.”
Over the past year, Bridges gathered dozens of purses, including brand names like Dooney & Bourke and Baggallini.
“Everything will be priced super reasonably,” Bridges said.
Prices also range for books. Magazines are 10 cents, children’s books and paperbacks are 50 cents and hardcovers are $1.
10 cents - Magazines
50 cents - Children’s and paperback books
$1 - hardcover books
The group can usually raise hundreds of dollars at its book sales, but that amount has fallen in recent years.
“The whole point is to help focus the community in the direction of libraries,” Bridges said. “The more money we make, the more activities they can have.”
A library is about more than just lending books nowadays, said members — it’s also about building community. And it does that by putting on events.
Linda Sader, past president of Friends of the Sumner Library and a current member, said that the group is intended to support children, books and the community.
“We support all the children’s programs,” she said. “We fill the gap. We help with funding and all the extra stuff. Any kind of author event or community event, we provide snacks.”
We support all the children’s programs. We fill the gap. We help with funding and all the extra stuff. Any kind of author event or community event, we provide snacks.
Linda Sader, past president of Friends of the Sumner Library
Laura Farrow, adult services librarian at the Sumner Library, said she compiles a report of all the events the Friends group help puts on, adding that they volunteer a lot of their time.
“This Friends group is energetic, forward-thinking and they understand that libraries are entertaining, that they build community and they’re educational,” Farrow said.
The library hosts book sales twice a year, but also has an ongoing book sale at the library. This sale has grown by an extra bookshelf, and has new signage on the way.
“Our ongoing book sale helps our budget,” said member Judy Levy.
“I don’t think people realize that when they come in and they buy a book for 50 cents — that adds up,” said youth services librarian Rebecca Ryan.
The Friends group expects to have 4,000 books for sale there and around 100 purses.
“We really are excited about it and we hope the purses help bring in money,” Bridges said.
Friends of the Sumner Library Used Book and Purse Sale
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19
Where: Pierce County Sumner Library, 1116 Fryar Ave., Sumner