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Book sale success

Friends of the Tehachapi Library

The Tehachapi Friends of the Library had a very successful book sale on Oct. 16 and 17, bringing in over $2,700. This is a remarkable amount of money that the Friends of the Library will be using to help our Tehachapi Branch Library provide services to the community, including programs and services for children, teens and adults. Even if you don’t personally take part in the services and programs, the library provides significant value to the community.

In terms of dollars, I have been looking at reports from around the country and the typical “return on investment” (ROI) tends to be $4 to $5 for each dollar “invested” in a library. This is calculated from things like value to vulnerable populations, job search facilities, resume writing, STEM training (in the form of maker spaces, etc.) and much more. Also, things like community building can be included in that.

This doesn’t include any of the less tangible benefits we get from the library. These could be things like story time for preschool kids and providing places for teens to gather after school. Did you know that they have a charging station for electronics at our library? And, in addition to the 3D printers, the maker space also has a sewing machine and CriCut devices available, providing infrastructure for learning about arts, crafts and technology. The benefit of these things might not be measurable for years.

Much of the money for our library comes because it belongs to the Kern County Library system, but the money that the Friends of the Library brings in helps with extra things. For example, the monthly Crafternoon projects for children to make a craft project (it’s turkeys this month) come from supplies paid for by the Friends of the Library. So, each time you visit the Continuing Book Sale downstairs at the library and make a purchase, your money goes to help these sorts of projects.

There are other ways to “invest” in the library. The Friends of the Library volunteers help out in a variety of ways. Some assist with the various book sales. Local wrestlers have helped move heavy boxes of books and while others set up the shelves and tables for the sales. Some people volunteer at library events like the recent Halloween costume contest.

The Friends of the Library has places for people with different backgrounds. While some are retired teachers, others were engineers, and I’m a data analyst who happens to also write. So there is a place for you, too. If you’d like to join in and volunteer to help, contact the Friends of the Library at [email protected] or (661) 750-2818.