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Residents can take a page out of pop-up bookstore

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: KATHY FULLER - Volunteers work to turn the Hillsboro Librarys community room into a 60,000 volume book store.It starts out as a big empty room.

Two weeks later, the walls of the room are lined with book shelves, the center is full of rectangular tables and the room is transformed into a veritable bookstore, complete with nearly 60,000 meticulously organized volumes.

This twice-yearly ritual happens quietly on the second floor of the Hillsboro’s Main Library in preparation for the Friends of the Hillsboro HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: KATHY FULLER - Barbara Wright and Kathy Schertz have worked together for many years on Friends book sales.Public Library book sale.

Behind the huge effort is Barbara Wright and a brigade of volunteers who set up and take down the book sale each fall and spring, each of which will raise close to $60,000 for the library.

Hundreds of boxes of books, audiobooks, albums and CDs are hauled from two storage units to the library.

They’re unpacked, sorted into categories — children’s books, cookbooks, sci-fi, fiction, history, and yes, even paranormal romance — alphabetized and placed onto shelves or tables, easy picking for book-hungry shoppers.

Wright has been a volunteer for 33 years. She’s now the paid Friends director of operations and over the years she’s perfected the art of selling books.

It’s really an ongoing process, Wright says. When donations come in, books are checked for their value, priced with a tag, then sorted into genres and boxed. More valuable books are placed on Amazon Marketplace — where the Friends maintain an inventory of around 8,000 items.

Wright has all manner of volunteers — ages 14 to 91 — including Kathy Schertz, “the fastest alphabetizer in the west,” who has been volunteering since 2003.

Other volunteers enjoy being book sale greeters, Wright says. “People are overwhelmed when they walk in to the sale. Our greeters are there to say, ‘Calm down, we’ll get you where you want to go.’”HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: KATHY FULLER - Hillsboro Library volunteer coordinator Molly Brandt, left, directs two volunteers in setting up the young adult section of the librarys upcoming book sale.

The efforts of the Friends are visible all around. The organization donated $435,000 to the capital campaign to buy and renovate the building that is now the main library. The Friends chipped in on the Shute Park Library renovation. They bought the popular 3D printers patrons can use during lab times at the Main Library and the artistic bus shelter across the street from the Main Library is a donation from the Friends.

Wright loves what she does and said, “It couldn’t be done without a very supportive library.”

“The funds raised by the Friends are turned right back around to support the library, most notably through our Best Seller collection, but in a hundred other ways, big and small,” says Hillsboro Library Director Stephanie Chase.

“We are so fortunate to have such an active and supportive Friends group — and a group that takes such care with the materials they have in the sale. I think you are guaranteed to come across some gems in one of the Friends’ book sales.”

The spring book sale begins April 29. Stop by to find your next great read or just to be overwhelmed.

Where: Hillsboro Main Library, 2850 N.E. Brookwood Parkway

When: April 29 through May 8 during regular library hours

What: Year-round sale shelves are located downstairs adjacent to the coffee corner and online at Amazon Marketplace

Info: For more information, visit Hillsborolibraryfriends.org

On Twitter: @ReporterFuller