Friends of the Taylor Library find a "new" home

The Friends of the Taylor Community Library have found a new home. Well, it’s an old home, really – a really old home.

The Friends, a group of individuals that raises funds to help support the library, held their latest “gently used” book sale in their new headquarters: the historic log cabin in Heritage Park.

More than 300 readers visited the cabin between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. March 20 to purchase countless books for anywhere between a quarter and a dollar. All $550 in proceeds will be used to supplement the library’s budget.

Members of the Friends group said they wanted to find a new location. Their original spot in the front of the library is now divided between the new Laptop Lounge and home of the Downriver Genealogical Society library.

The Friends’ second home was in a room in the youth section of the library. The room is often used as a children’s reading room and play room, so the Friends had to set up their books before the sale and store them away when the sale was over.

The Heritage Park log cabin, one of the buildings surrounding Coan Lake, is one of the oldest homes in the city – dating back to the early 1850s. The home is used for special events such as the statewide Log Cabin Day presentation by the Historical Society, a registration site for the annual Taylor Rotary Fishing Derby and office space for the annual Taylor Relay for Life fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society.

But the cabin isn’t used on a regular basis, so Friends member Doris Reeber and 23rd District Court Geno Salomone approached Dennis McDermott, deputy director of golf, parks and recreation, about making the log house a new home for the Friends. McDermott agreed and parks staff moved the used books from the library to the log cabin.

The Friends, led by President Lillian Nadeau, sorted the books and had them ready to go prior to the start of the sale. Sandy Thompson, a staff member of Wayne County Commission Chairman Edward Boike Jr. (D-Taylor), was one of the first customers. She presented the friends with a $200 donation from the commissioner.

Members were a bit concerned that moving their book sale to a new location would hurt sales since the “regulars” might not have heard about the move. But customers arrived early and kept coming until the sale was over for the day.

“We were worried that getting away from the library that business might slow down, but it didn’t slow down at all,” said Carolyn Archibald, a member of the group. “A bunch of regulars came.”

So did many newcomers who saw the sign on the marquee in front of the Sheridan Community Center and the small signs at the foot of the driveway leading to the log cabin.

Archibald said some people visit every month and buy lots of books. One man spends at least $30 on used books. Archibald’s husband Jack carried dozens of books to a car of a person who was buying for a group home “up north.”

About a dozen of the regulars buy books one month and donate a bunch the next month. Some readers give the Friends $5 bills and say “keep the change.”

“I come every month,” said Taylor resident Sylvia Chandonnet, who was carrying six books, a DVD and a VHS movie – and was still shopping. “I like it here. They have a nice assortment. I try to read one book a week, especially during the winter months. I really enjoy biographies.”

Archibald called the book sales a “service to the community,” especially in tougher financial times in many households. She tells people holding rummage sales that the Friends will accept any book they can’t sell.

“This is a service for people who can’t afford to go out and spend $20 or $30 on a book,” she said. “As long as we can keep bringing in a fresh supply, this will flourish.”

Unlike the library, where loud talking is discouraged, the Friends and visitors talked freely – and even laughed – throughout the entire five-hour sale.

Archibald said the Friends really like new Library Director Theresa Powers, who interacts with the group regularly and was supportive of the move to the log cabin.

“We’re just so happy to be over here,” said Friends Vice President Mary Richardson. “Words can’t express how we feel.”

About the Friends of the Taylor Library

Who:
There are more than 30 community members with a common interest of raising money to help support the Taylor Community Library. Current officers are President Lillian Nadau, Vice President Mary Richardson, Secretary Doris Reeber and Treasurer Dan Tesin.

When:
The group meets every other month and has used book sales from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the third Saturday of the month at its new home in the Heritage Park log cabin. Upcoming sales are scheduled for May 15, June 19, July 17 and August 21.

The Books:
Book sale customers say the prices are right: Paperbacks are 25 cents, soft-covered books are 50 cents, hard-covered books are $1. DVDs are also $1, although videotapes and CDs are priced at 50 cents each. Romance books are priced at 10 cents.

To Donate:
Donations of used books are encouraged and welcome. To arrange a pickup or delivery, call Lillian Nadau at (313) 383-3691. If you drop off books at the library, make sure you mark “Friends of the Library” on the box.

To Get Involved:
Dues are just $5 a year. For that, members get a quarterly newsletter prepared by Carolyn Archibald and a chance to work to raise money for the library.

What:
The money is raised for children’s programming and items not in the current library budget. The Friends have purchased a computer and a television for the Laptop Lounge, subscribe to a special periodical for the library staff and provide supplies needed for special events such as the upcoming Earth Day festivities at the library.

For More Information:
Visit the Friends of the Library Web site at www.friendsofthetaylorlibrary.com.