Sunday, January 30, 2011

More good news/bad news...

The good news: we made almost $1,700 at our book sale this weekend.

We were also able to donate left-over books to some very worthy organizations: Lori is taking more books-on-tape to the Center for the Visually Impaired, and a carload of books weeded from the library's religion section to North Fulton Community Charities. Two vanloads of weeded young adult materials went to a mission supporting Alabama schools and prisons (the libraries there are woefully underfunded, compared to Georgia's!). A load also went to Goodwill Charities, and another load of books past their prime was recycled.

Thanks for a successful book sale go to:
  • everyone who bought books and everyone who donated the books for us to sell (and if you gave us some books, and then came to the sale and bought more... you're our kind of people!)
  • all our wonderful volunteers: Jane, Jack, Jim, Maria, Steve, Daniel, Jacques, Linda, Robin, Amanda, Sharon, Jacob, Yuri (and since I'm making this list from my very faulty memory, I have inevitably forgotten someone - email me and I'll fix it!)
  • our neighboring Publix on Jones Bridge Road, who generously donate the bags we use for the Saturday bag sale
  • the Friends of Ocee Board members, who rock like you can't believe
Now for the bad news: we are taking a break from book sales for a while. We also not be accepting book donations any longer at the Ocee branch (the Alpharetta and Spruill Oaks branches will be more than happy to take your books though).

This was a hard decision for us to make, and we regret having to downsize our operations, but we have lost a number of our most active volunteers and board members, and no longer have the manpower to continue as we have in the past.  Some of us have been with the Friends group since the Ocee Library was only an idea and a cause we lobbied for before the county commissioners (shout out here to Bob Fulton, after whom the library is named, and who swayed the commissioners in our favor). As we have lost members over the years and the amount of work that fell on the rest of us increased, we've gotten a little burned out.  While a number of you have volunteered to help out at book sales, we have a harder time finding people who can serve as active board members and help out on an ongoing basis. For example, the donation bin at the library needs to be emptied every day and then the books need to be sorted and stored and sometimes recycled, and when only 3 or 4 people are available to help with this, it gets quickly overwhelming. We also no longer have enough board members to cover all our positions, and are having to double (and triple!) up on our duties.

Given that we have cash reserves that will allow us to continue to help the library for at least 3 years, we have therefore decided to take a break and regroup again when our financial/volunteer situation changes. We are definitely not leaving the library in the lurch though - we will continue to fund programs and buy needed books and supplies, using our savings. We will continue to support the library in every way we can - we just won't be able to handle book sales for a while.

I can't thank everyone enough for all the support you have shown our group and the Ocee library, and I hope you can understand our decision.

P.S. For those of you who are members of the Friends of the Ocee Library, your membership will remain current through our hiatus, no matter how long it lasts and without need for renewal. We will keep you updated through email, and will also continue to post on this blog on a regular basis.