Community Bookfair extended until May 22
By Steve Huffman
The Rowan-Salisbury Community Bookfair is intended to help local schools and Rowan Helping Ministries.
But so far, response to the event has been slim. The fair was scheduled to end Friday, but has been extended until May 22 to try and generate more sales.
“Overall, response has been underwhelming,” said Tracy Aitken, senior executive supervisor for Usborne Books and More, and the driving force behind the book fair.
Those participating in the event can purchase books online or over the phone. They can designate the particular school they want to receive the books (local librarians have included an online “wish list”) and Rowan Helping Ministries receives 20 percent of the proceeds.
Aitken, a Spencer resident, said she’s donating her commission from the fair to Rowan Helping Ministries.
She noted that in these tough economic times, school libraries are often the first to lose funding. “They’re considered expendable,” Aitken said.
She made a plea to members of the Spencer Board of Aldermen during their monthly meeting Tuesday night, asking aldermen to help spread the word about the book fair.
Kelly Feimster, media director for the Rowan-Salisbury School System, said she appreciates the effort being made by Aitken to help local schools get more books.
She said that while budgets for local libraries are not being chosen specifically for cuts, they receive funds from the school system’s overall budget that is being sliced.
“Basically, school budgets are being cut like everybody’s being cut,” Feimster said.
She said Aitken met with media specialists from the school system earlier this spring and explained the fair she was planning. Feimster said librarians were overwhelmingly supportive of the project, and said they all selected books for “wish lists” for their individual schools.
“It’s something new. It’s going to take some time to catch on,” Feimster said of the fair. “But we think it’s a wonderful thing. We can always use books.”
To access the books that local media specialists have requested, go to www.ReadUsborneBooks.com. When a shopper reaches the Web site, click on “Rowan-Salisbury Community Bookfair” to choose the school and purchase the books for the library. Shoppers are reminded to choose the free shipping option.
At the end of the fair, community purchases will be totaled and 20 percent sent to Rowan Helping Ministries.
For those without Internet access, call Aitken at 704-797-0777. She can help with book purchases.