The Friends of the Oliver Library was incorporated as a Society in 1998, following an organizational meeting called by Librarian Vicky White. Three of the charter members remain as active FOTOL members to this day.
One of the major activities of the FOTOL is to raise money for the Library. The annual book sale—to be held this year on Saturday, July 7th at the Canadian Legion—marks twenty years of the Friends’ major fundraiser for the Library.
The book sale is a model of community cooperation. All books sold have been donated by Oliver residents and every penny raised goes to support Library activities such as the Summer Reading Club for Children, and to enhance the Library by providing programs and furnishings not available through core funding.
Behind the scenes, the books have to be stored as they pour into the Library by generous donors. Free storage has been provided over the years by Oliver-Fairview Self Storage, where Society volunteers sort them and load them on cardboard flats donated by Buy Low and No Frills. Then the rather massive job of transport is undertaken by an army of volunteers who get them to the sales point, which is usually the Library’s parking lot. (NOTE: This year the sale will take place at the OLIVER LEGION because of the street work being undertaken in front of the Library.)
Once on the sale site, other volunteers have arrived early to set up tables and then load the sorted books on flats into locations for paperbacks or hard covers, fiction or non-fiction, and with special areas for kids’ books, videos and CDs and a few other categories.
The sale begins at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 2:00 p.m. and active volunteers keep the tables loaded with books throughout the sales period. Then at closing time, the dismantling begins. In the last several years, all unsold books have been donated to other community organizations that also raise monies for other charitable organizations. Again this year, they will be donated to Diabetes Clothesline.
Over the years, FOTOL has raised well over $70,000 to support the Oliver Library, mostly from book sales, but also from kind donors and from membership fees. You see some of those proceeds in the Library’s enhanced furnishings, which include the main desk when you enter, rugs for the children’s area, and approximately half of the magazines and periodicals on display. The funds enhance by upgrading the quality of the furniture provided through core funding. They allow FOTOL to fund authors and speakers through the year, and for the children—magicians, drummers and other guests during the summer reading program.
FOTOL has a brochure available in the Library which outlines in more detail its activities, meeting dates, and organizational structure. Membership forms are also available at the Library. Volunteers are always needed and everyone is welcome.
Hope to see you all at the book sale!