The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
While Kindles and Nooks may provide the luxury of a virtual library at your expense, Clover Bolden believes nothing can replace the impact of a good old-fashioned paperback on a child’s education.
“That, and the fact that if a kid drops a book, it’s not going to cost me $350,” laughed Bolden, president of the Friends of the Port Arthur Public Library.
Bolden and the other Friends of the Library are trying to spread their love of the printed word with their annual book sale, which begins for members Thursday at the Port Arthur Public Library, 4615 Ninth Ave., and opens to the public Friday and Saturday.
“We’re facing a unique challenge in competing with technology, so we’re just trying to make it a community-wide event,” Bolden said.
The book sale offers other items such as CDs, DVDs and collector’s albums, all of them gently used, Bolden said, and most ranging in price from 10 cents to $5. On Friday, senior citizens and all federal, state and city employees can join the Friends for $10 and get a free book of their choice.
Saturday is Student Day, when all students pre-K through college, home-schooled students, and public and private school teachers and workers can buy four paperback books for $1, or two hardback books for the same price.
“I don’t care how great your knowledge is; you still have to have hard copies,” children’s librarian Carolyn Thibodeaux said. “I want to teach books first before we teach electronics to our babies.”
As a pre-kindergarten teacher, Bolden knows the value of teaching books first.
“This is the age where they’re really hands on, and they still need those books,” Bolden said. “When they take ownership of a book, they take ownership of their education.”
All proceeds from the sale go toward equipment at the library, including a large scanner that will maintain the documentation of Port Arthur history. The funds also benefit the library’s programs — some of which, like the summer reading program, can cost more than $3,000.
“When children come for free in the summer, that’s what we’re helping fund,” Bolden said. “That money is going to be right back in our community, supporting our events in the library.”