Education and books have been part of Sherry Good’s life since she was a student in Basin, then at the community college in Powell and the University of Wyoming. After a teaching career in the Natrona County School District and a few years before that in Bushnell, Nebraska, she was looking for a volunteer opportunity.
She found it with the Friends of Natrona County Library, where she and about 40 loyal volunteers coordinate quarterly used book sales, among other activities.
Proceeds from the sales go back into the community. We chatted with her about the upcoming ticket availability for two preview sales.
Tell us about your teaching experience. I was with the district full-time for 37 years and subbed another seven after that. When we first graduated from the University of Wyoming, that was the first year that there wasn’t a teacher shortage, so we got jobs in Bushnell, Nebraska, seven miles from the border. That’s the farthest we’ve ever lived away from Wyoming. Then (husband of 50 years) Mike got a job teaching and coaching in Midwest and we moved there. We lived out there 26 years. It was a real community out there, almost every teacher and family lived right there. Mike taught out there until he retired and the district transferred me to Natrona County High School, where I finished my career.
Are you surprised at the popularity of these book sales? It absolutely amazes me. In addition to the book sales, the Friends do a substantial amount of outreach. All of the things on the library carts at the hospital come from us, as well as little free libraries at the college and elsewhere. And often, businesses will need some reading material for waiting rooms or something and they come to us.
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When is the Fall Book Sale? It’s 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Natrona County Library. Admission is free. All items will sell for $2 or less.
Your funding is nearly all from the book sales, right? With the exception of a few very rare things that we sell on Amazon, all of our money comes from the book sales. We just can’t do anything but thank the community for its support.
Tell us how the pre-sales came about. The board tried to figure out how to shorten the lines at our book sales. We tried one early-bird sale and it went over really well. At one point, those tickets sold out in less than an hour because we limit the number to 55. If we’re trying to reduce the line, then we don’t want to make people who are paying stand in line, so everyone who buys a preview ticket gets in at once. The Early Bird tickets are $20 and the sale is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19. The Second Chance tickets are $10 and that sale is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20. Tickets for both of these sales are available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 3) in the Friends Room in the basement of the library. After 1 p.m., provided there are some left, they will be for sale at the Circulation Desk on the main floor of the library.
And these preview sales happen before every sale? Yes, even before the bag sale, but there aren’t bag sale prices at the pre sales because we worry about getting too low on inventory. So if you want to come early to a bag sale, you’ll pay the maximum of $2 per book price, just like every other sale.
How do the Friends distribute the proceeds? We give the Sue Jorgensen Foundation $5,000 for Wyoming Reads, and the rest goes to the library. The last few years we were able to give $20,000. One thing the library does with the donation is buy food for all public events at the library, so they don’t have to use taxpayer money for pizza and cookies. The rest is used at the library’s discretion.