Luther College Chips

National Library Week

Preus Library celebrates with annual book sale

Emma Busch, Staff Writer

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This year marks the 60th anniversary of National Library Week, an annual celebration of various types of libraries and library workers across the nation. Each year in April, libraries work to increase public engagement with all libraries have to offer. According to Technical Services Assistant Emily Mineart, Preus Library takes part in this celebration with their annual book sale.

“[The book sale] is something we have been doing every year since before I was born,” Mineart said. “It’s a combination of older materials that have been weeded from the library’s collections as well as books that have been donated specifically for this purpose. It all goes to support the library and help us purchase new materials.”

According to Public Services Coordinator Eddy Atwell, roughly a third of the books come directly from the library and the rest are donations from the public or retiring professors. The sale also helps Preus librarians in their collection development efforts by keeping the library’s collection from overgrowing.

“[The librarians are] each assigned a few departments on campus and are responsible for reviewing that subject area in the library and deciding what books to buy and what books to take out,” Atwell said. “We don’t want to grow too much, so for every book that comes in, a book should come out.”

The sale offers everything from leisure reading, textbooks, and small plants. It runs during the course of the week. Prices decline daily and Mineart says it is not uncommon to see book lovers waiting outside before the library opens during the week. 

“I open the building in the morning, so it’s always fun to see people there specifically for the book sale and ready to come in,” Mineart said.

Mineart says the library also makes “Read” posters every year. Faculty, staff, and students can pose with their favorite book and display the poster around the library. This year the library also took photos of individuals holding signs that say “I read because…” with their personal reason for reading written below.

Student worker Shaun Crozier (‘19) says National Library Week is important because of the number of roles libraries can serve.

“Libraries grant us an escape from our current realities into a world created by someone else’s pure imagination,” Crozier said. “When we aren’t reading the libraries offer a quiet place away from classes [and] social obligations. It becomes a place where anyone can relax and just leave their troubles at the door.”

Mineart says libraries also exist to promote certain ideals that benefit society.

“Libraries are so important, mainly because they embody so many values that are so important not just on a college campus, but especially resonant and present in people’s minds on a campus like Luther such as intellectual freedom, the public good, and the free exchange of ideas and information and life-long learning,” Mineart said. “Libraries exist to promote them.”

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