West Virginia Book Festival

For the past three years, Debbie Null, librarian at Sherman High School in Seth, has taken advantage of Kanawha County Public Library’s annBooks in stack white background2 LoResual offer of free books for nonprofit organizations.

Each year, immediately after the library’s annual used book sale (scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19, this year), representatives from nonprofit organizations are permitted to comb through the leftover books and use them in any manner that benefits the group’s mission.

Null initially heard about the program from her friend Scott Blake. At the time, she was the librarian for Van Junior/Senior High School, and Blake knew that she needed books for her library. That year she scored about 10 boxes of books. When she moved to Sherman High two years ago, she continued participating in the program to rebuild that library’s collection.

She mostly gets nonfiction because “fiction sells out pretty quickly,” she said. And that works in her favor because “the common core standards have changed, and the new standards place greater emphasis on nonfiction,” she said.

Her trips to Charleston have resulted in a stronger, more up-to-date collection at Sherman, and that helps her students do better work. “Access to better, more current information makes their research more valid,” she said.

Null plans her expedition by evaluating her collection and assessing its weak areas. Then she makes sure to obtain a diagram of the book sale layout so she knows what areas to hit first. For the best results, “you need to do a little research before you get there,” she said.

She gets help in the form of a few teachers and community members. “They know our needs,” she said. And she brings her own truck to transport their finds back home to Seth.

She highly recommends the program to other nonprofit organizations who need books. “In today’s society, literacy is more important than ever. It is critical that people have access to books. The KCPL program has allowed numerous nonprofits – schools, community centers, literacy volunteers, service organizations and even jails –  to build collections that address their patrons’ needs,” Null said.

Nonprofit organizations may participate by calling Sandy Frercks at 304-343-4646, ext. 242. She’ll e-mail you a form, which must be returned no later than Sept. 6. You’ll need to provide a copy of your organization’s 501(c)3 or other proof of your nonprofit status and your own labor to pack and load the books into your vehicle. Additional instructions will be provided once you register.

Kanawha County Public Library cannot guarantee quantity, type or variety of the leftover books. Please note that Collector’s Corner materials are not included in this offer.