WAXAHACHIE — The Nicholas P. Sims Library is hopping with festivities this weekend as the longstanding community staple will host the Friends of the Library annual book sale in conjunction with kicking off its 2017 adult summer reading program, "Build a Better World," to entice local readers and writers.

“Once a year, Friends of the Library does a book sale, and they’re a group that formed to help us with funding,” explained Jenny Graf, Circulation Supervisor.

Established in 1982, Friends of the Library is a nonprofit that furthers the relationship between the community and library, financially supporting a broad spectrum of programs, events, and projects throughout the year.

“They help fundraise for us, and if we need something we go to them and ask them for whatever we need,” Graf encompassed. “At the end of the year, the Friends fund a lot of the summer programs as well as put on a full carnival for the summer reading program."

“The book sale not only helps with that, but it goes all year round. Like, if we need anything, we can go to them, and they’re there for us. They’re really beneficial to help get us stuff that our budget doesn’t allot for, so they’re really wonderful,” she added.

The one-day book sale, generously supplied by Waxahachie citizens, will be located at the Waxahachie Parks and Recreation building on South Elm Street with all books and movies sold under $4.

“People who donate books that don’t go into the collection go toward that sale,” Graf told of the kind community investment. “It’s nice because the citizens are helping and the Friends are putting it on for us.”

“The cool thing is, you’ll find new releases and old books, fiction, non-fiction, so it’ll hit everybody and it’s a great event,” she included for Saturday’s sale. “I think it's great, and not only do book lovers get books, but the money is crucial because it helps us in so many ways.”

Also adding to the calendar's functions, Heather Lee, the library’s Adult Services and Technology Librarian, included a challenge most adults will want to compete that began June 1.

“Summer Reading is to encourage adult participants," Lee expressed. "Because we have a summer reading program for kids, a lot of the times there’s not anything to encourage adults to read or write, so it’s a way to pull people in and check books out and read."

Through the library’s 2017 summer reading program, “Build a Better World," adults have the opportunity to win prizes with words.

“Our grand prize is a $200 Amazon gift card,” Lee acknowledged. “The way it works is every week you turn in an entry form of however many books you’ve read, either online or in person. So it’s one more entry in the drawing, and however many entries you put in goes towards a weekly drawing and also enters you in the grand prize."

To spice up the challenge, weekly prizes will be drawn for consistent readers, or audio book listeners, who are 18 years old or older and maintain a library card.

“For some people, it’s an escape, for others it’s to learn things, but people come and want to read and enjoy things because it’s a great way to connect with others and your kids as well,” Lee mentioned. “Just because it’s an adult program doesn’t mean you can’t read kids books, or young adult books, so read those books to your kids or grandkids because it’s just a great way to connect."

In addition to the drawing, the competition has added another category to the program, giving local writers a chance to put their pens to paper with the Story Sprints Flash Fiction Contests.

“This is something we started last year because we have a lot of writers in the area,” Lee acknowledged.

“You have to create a story of 500 words in one month, so we’ll let out the prompts at the first of the month, and then you have until the end of the month to put an entry in and get a prize for the winner,” she described the rules. “And the only limitation is that you have to have a library card.”

With a reward of $100, the first competition began June 1, and runs through the end of the month until June 30. Whereas, the second contest immediately picks up the following day, July 1, and closes July 30, giving writers a second chance to win big.

As for the weekend fueled with fun and family-friendly competition and connection, both Graf and Lee encourage the community to visit the library throughout the summer.

“I know that a lot of the community knows what we offer here, but a lot don’t. So I think that the more we can get the word out, the better,” Graf expressed.

“This just gives us more of an opportunity for them to not say, ‘Hey, I didn’t know this was happening.’ So we want as many people as possible to know what we have to offer and this is a way that the community gives back to us to help give to them,” she concluded.

“The library is a good place to meet people who are interested in the same things you are interested in” Lee added.

“Maybe you don’t like books, but you’re interested in movies, or you don’t like movies and books interest you, you’re going to find people who are interested in the same things you are, that’s why they come here. This is a place to connect with others,” she finished with a smile.

Friends of the Library’s Annual Book Sale will be held at the Waxahachie Parks and Recreation building on 401 South Elm Street this Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The adult 2017 Summer Reading “Build a Better World” program began Thursday, June 1 and goes through July 30 at the Nicholas P. Sims Library, located at 515 West Main Street. Entries must be turned in by 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Story Sprints Flash Fiction Contests first prompt have been available since June 1, and will close on June 30. The second writing contest will kick off July 1, and close July 30. For rules, entry forms, or more information, visit simslib.org or call 972-937-2671.

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Chelsea Groomer, @Chelsea Groomer

(469)-517-1450