By Phyllis Galowitz

You can always find me at the Andes Public Library on Friday afternoons. That’s my day to volunteer and it’s my home-away-from-home. I love the library. I feel good surrounded by books and DVDs, and one of the great advantages to being a volunteer is getting “first dibs” on the newest and latest of them.

When I first came to Andes 17 years ago, the library was only two small rooms. The rest of the building at the time was the home of the librarian, Vera Matthews. I loved it then, but space was a big problem. With its several expansions over the years after Vera’s retirement and the library’s taking over that space, my love has grown with it. Space is still a problem though and it seems that the more our collection and usage expands, the greater is our need for more.  The people who use the library probably have the same problem in their homes. Loving books, they buy more and more until their homes can no longer contain them. What can they do? They generously donate the excess to the library! Since we don’t have the space for all of them, most of the donated books go to our book sales, where we make a small amount of money which enables us to buy more books and DVDs, until there’s no more room and again, we need more space! So, we have the ongoing job of weeding, weeding, weeding, and again, putting the books that we’ve weeded out, into the book sale. The room that we recently renovated to store book sale books is overflowing, but still donations keep coming in, and we are grateful because we can sell them and buy more. More books need more space… and so it goes on and on.

One of the problems that we have with donations is that the books left on the porch, without asking permission, are often not saleable and must be discarded. How do you discard old, moldy, outdated books? The covers need to be removed before the transfer station will take them. This is a huge, time-consuming job, which the library must pay someone to do. It’s a vicious cycle. We do love getting donations of saleable books, but we do not want those that are meant to be garbage! So, please be mindful of those donations you are making. Give only what others will want to read or buy. Do not leave discarded books on our porch without permission from the librarian.

We now have a tremendous selection of cookbooks which we are selling for next to nothing. They are wonderful; we just don’t have the space for all of them, so stop by and pick up a few. If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend hours poring over interesting ideas for your next dinner party or finding the dish that Grandma used to make that you never got the recipe for, or just looking at the beautiful photography of food … beautiful food!

The children’s room is amazing. There are so many categories of children’s books: board books and pop-up books to read to infants, chapter books for new readers, special interest books about trucks, tractors, dinosaurs, animals, buildings and on and on. Then there are favorite children’s authors, poetry, sports, and so much more that your children will enjoy. Bring them to select their favorites and don’t forget those special children’s DVDs. Start them on the habit of a lifetime. Bring them to Story Hour on Wednesday mornings at 11.~