The activity in Wilton Library’s “Book Cellar” is at fever pitch in an effort to get ready for the annual Gigantic Book Sale beginning Saturday, April 22 through Tuesday, April 25. The sale starts on Saturday, from 7 to 9 a.m., with an Early Buyers fee of $15; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the remaining days, admission is free to the public. Sunday, the sale is open from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., items are half price, and Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., purchases are $5 per bag with bags supplied by the library.
A silent auction of rare and collectible books will be held during Saturday and Sunday hours. On Saturday, the Rotary Club of Wilton will sell hot dogs and sodas at lunchtime with proceeds benefiting the library. The sale boasts more than 70,000 items in more than 50 categories ranging from art books, children’s and teens, cooking, gardening, history, travel, and teacher’s materials; gently used, new, signed, collectible, rare books, DVDs, CDs, books on CDs – there is something for everyone in the Book Cellar, the Brubeck Room and the gallery .
Elaine Tai-Lauria, executive director for Wilton Library, said, “This book sale is extremely important for the library. With today’s headlines about the slashing of state and local budgets, people are more aware that fundraising is becoming a major source of revenue for the library. Every new book, DVD, and CD on our shelves and every newspaper in our reading room is purchased with dollars from donations large and small. This book sale goes a long way in helping us maintain the level of commitment our patrons have come to expect.”
Pat Gould, one of the chairs of the book sale fundraiser, commented, “Each year in May we start with a fresh slate and an empty cellar after the Gigantic Book Sale, and thanks to the wonderful book donations of this community, we are able to mount this sale, plus our annual summer sidewalk sale, our Awesome Autumn Sale, our Holiday Book Sale, along with a book shelf of bestselling authors on sale all year long, each one bringing in much needed funding to the library.”
Bob Russell is in charge of the book sale’s silent auction each year and was impressed with this year’s donations. “We have a great cache this year that should really entice our buyers. They’ll find “Caricatures by Enrico Caruso,” “All About Amos ’n Andy,” “Sex” by Madonna, and books signed by Julie Andrews, Don Rickles, and Phyllis Diller. The oldest book is a Bible in German from 1684,” he remarked. These are just some of the more than 150 items on which buyers can bid both Saturday and Sunday. A list of the rare and collectible items is on the library’s website at www.wiltonlibrary.org.
According to Jan MacEwen, another chair of the annual spring fundraiser, “Volunteers work steadily throughout the year to keep ahead of the avalanche of gently-used and pristine books, DVDs and CDs that are continuously donated – and even with that schedule, the last three weeks are non-stop cleaning, sorting, and categorizing the thousands of items to get the sale ready for the public.”
Janet Zuckerman, another chair chimed in, “The sale is so well known by dealers and book lovers alike. We always hear comments about how well run it is – from the quality and quantity of the items to the organization and display – smart shoppers wait for it every year in April.”
Lila Griswold, also a chair of the event nodded with enthusiasm, “We have a dedicated group of volunteers who comes in all year; then we have to marshal even more resources during the book sale to keep shelves and tables replenished and straightened; we provide an abundance of cashiers to keep people moving through the line. It’s a well-oiled machine with terrific people helping out.”
In discussing the book sale and why they are involved, trustees Kim Healy and Patty Connor agreed, “We realize how essential it is for the library to raise funds, so we are delighted to be a part of this important endeavor.”
Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in the heart of Wilton Center. For information and directions, visit www.wiltonlibrary.org or call 203-762-6334.