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Bookfest opens tonight at Stratton Center

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Annual used-book sale benefits literacy programs

By Lisa King

This year’s annual Bookfest, a used-book sale to benefit literacy in Shelby County, promises to be bigger and better than ever, officials said.

Deloris Odenweller, a member of Friends of the Library, co-sponsor of the event along with The Sentinel-News, said Monday that although the books have not been counted, she thinks there are at least as many as last year and probably more.

“It’s hard to tell until we get them out of the boxes,” she said, glancing around at the mounds of books stacked everywhere on numerous tables at the Stratton Center. The sale is being held there this year, because of lack of space at the Shelby County Public Library, Odenweller said.

She said it would require about 30 volunteers to get the books sorted and arranged on tables at the Stratton Center by the time the sale opens tonight with a VIP session for members of the organization. The event for the general public continues Thursday through Saturday morning.

“We’ve got a ton of books, of every kind imaginable, as you can see,” she said with a chuckle.

The Sentinel-Newsis partnering with the Friends of the Library for the first time and has been serving for several weeks as a drop-off center, with donations of books, DVDs and CDs filling almost the entire basement of the building.

The proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Library and The Sentinel-News’Newspapers in Education Program.

The library for years had hosted the event, but when the facility’s management determined it no longer could manage the requirements of the 3-day sale, Sentinel-News Publisher Kerry Johnson stepped in to ensure that this event continued to support books and reading among Shelby Countians.

“We are excited to be part of the annual book sale, now called Bookfest,” Johnson said. “It’s important for our community to encourage reading in all shapes and for all ages. Bookfest will offer thousands of good books at very low prices. There will be something for everyone. Best of all, all, proceeds will keep bringing more books and newspapers to our children and community.”

A reception from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Stratton Center will give members of the Friends of the Library a first look at the items that are for sale and will include a silent auction of many items, including private wine tasting, a Sunday buffet, art, jewelry, signed books and much more.

The public sale will be from 10 a.m. to 6  p.m. Thursday and Friday and from  9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Bookfest

WHAT:Used-book sale to promote literacy

WHEN:Today through Saturday

WHERE:Stratton Center, 215 Washington St. in Shelbyville

WHY:Fundraiser for The Sentinel-News’Newspapers n Education and Friends of the Library