This year the best contributions to the library’s traditional used book sale have become the Holiday Gift Shop. Photo: Submitted

This year the best contributions to the library’s traditional used book sale have become the Holiday Gift Shop. Photo: Submitted

CHECK THIS OUT: The season of giving at the Nelson library

Avi Silberstein on the library’s holiday gift shop and other seasonal treats

by Avi Silberstein

In recent weeks, if you’ve peered through the library windows when our doors are shut, you’ve likely seen us scurrying around like little mice. You see, every year our Friends of the Library group of stellar fundraisers work hard to put on a wonderful book sale – a tradition which, like many, we won’t be able to hold this year.

And so, scurrying and hurrying, we’ve been picking our way through all of the donated books that would typically be destined for the book sale, selecting only the very best for our brand-new Holiday Gift Shop.

Located right in the middle of the library, and accessible during our open hours, our Gift Shop (or as I like to think of it, our Gifte Shoppe) is chock-full of neatly packaged bundles of books for every reader, centennial posters for the art lover, library cookbooks for the chef, and beautiful canvas bags to carry it all home.

The books themselves are in new or almost-new condition – and at only a few dollars per bundle, they offer a low-cost option for this holiday season.

And here’s one more Gift Shop opportunity: You can make a charitable donation to the library as a gift in someone’s name, either online or at the library.

The Gift Shop is just one type of giving you can take part in at the library. On Monday, Dec. 14, we’ll be holding our annual Fines for Food Day – in which all fines paid will go directly to the Nelson Community Food Centre.

You can pay those fines at the library or call us and pay over the phone by credit card. This is a great opportunity to clear your library conscience by paying down those pesky fines, while simultaneously helping feed your neighbours.

But that’s not the only way we’re collaborating with the Nelson Community Food Centre. Every year we team up with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) to run the A Book Under Every Tree program.

You, our wonderful and supportive community members, showed your generosity by donating 525 new (or nearly new) books for all ages. Those books were distributed last week at the Nelson Community Food Centre’s Festive Food Weeks.

This year’s holiday season will be different – there’s no getting around that. Here at the library, things haven’t fully returned to normal yet, and they likely will not for some time. But we’re still here, and our doors are still open.

Except when they’re not – and that’s when we go back to sorting through boxes of books, picking out the cream of the crop, and bundling them in twine, just so, some of us whistling or humming under our breaths, the snow falling outside, just another pack of book-loving library mice.

Avi Silberstein is the Children’s Librarian at the Nelson Public Library. Check This Out runs every other week. If you’re interested in learning more about library programs and services, sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website or by giving us a call.