The Heathwood Library’s 2016 Great Used Book Sale has raised more than $1300 in support of the school’s Visiting Author program.
This year’s sale, held December 1-2 in the Campus Center lobby, benefitted from strong donations, stellar volunteers, and enthusiastic shoppers—mostly Heathwood students—looking for Christmas gifts for friends and family. “We had so many great donations from our community,” said Early Childhood and Lower School Librarian Jennifer Falvey. “There were lots of beautiful books this year. And the range of what we got was so amazing—from adult bestsellers to the Confessions of St. Augustine to picture books for the youngest readers.”
“It’s exciting to see how much our students enjoy shopping for books, for themselves or to give to others,” said Middle and Upper School Librarian Nancy Reeder.
Students buying gifts at the sale were also able to wrap them on the spot, thanks to the gift-wrapping station that was added for the first time last year. “It’s really fun to watch the kids wrap their purchases,” said Mrs. Reeder. “And that’s where our parent volunteers were especially helpful too.”
Leftover books will be donated to the Transitions Shelter, which works to move people from homelessness to permanent shelter. The Middle School is supporting Transitions for their holiday service project, and when Middle School Head Suzanne Nagy asked if donations might be a possibility, the library staff jumped at the idea. “So many people come to Transitions with nothing,” said Mrs. Falvey. “So we are really glad to share books with them.”
Through its support of Heathwood’s Visiting Author program, the book sale also helps foster a love of reading among Heathwood students. Recent visiting authors have included noted writers Kate Klise, Bob Buyea, and Edward Bloor. In addition to reading their work to students and discussing their writing process, visiting authors field questions from students, hold writing workshops, and more.
But the value of the book sale goes beyond the funds it raises and the great books it puts in the hands of students and their families, says Mrs. Falvey. “Because students of all ages are helping with set-up, or shopping at the same time,” she said, “it’s one of those events like the Highlander Games that bring all of our students together. Seeing older and younger students browsing side-by-side and talking together about books made me realize what a great community-building experience the book sale is.”
Now that this year’s book sale is behind them, Mrs. Reeder and Mrs. Falvey are already making plans for next year—and actively soliciting donations. “We’ll take your used books any time during the year,” Mrs. Falvey said. “If your New Year’s resolution is to purge your bookshelves, bring your donations now, and we’ll happily store them until next year.”
Likewise, said Mrs. Reeder, since the gift-wrapping station has been hugely popular, donations of wrapping paper, tags, ribbons, and bows are always welcome. “We’d really love to have more wrapping supplies,” she said. “So if you have extras, we’ll take it all!”