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MARY MEAUX — Friends of PA Library looking for help from a few friends

The Friends of Port Arthur Public Library are gearing up for their first book sale — which benefits the library and its programs — since before Hurricane Harvey.

Library Clerk Rachel Scott noted that it has actually been since 2016, the year before the devastating flood, since the last book sale.

But on Nov. 15 and 16, the doors to the Lucy Stiefel gallery will open to the general public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Members of the group can get the early bird deal from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14.

But this is more than just a book sale. This is a rebirth of sorts. Port Arthur Public Library saw feet, not inches, of floodwater back in 2017, leaving most of the library in waste.

Library repairs took time and the city was without this important resource for approximately 21 months. The closure meant the loss of more than checking out books or DVDs. This affected the many children who took part in the Summer Reading Program, plus numerous other programs for the public, people who visited the library for genealogy research, audiobooks, magazines and computer use for work or school.

The library hosts classes and workshops and meetings and so much more.

The library reopened its doors in May and more than 100 people came out, lined up to get brand new library cards and toured the new and upgraded “library 2.0” as library director Steven Williams called it.

And just as before, the Friends of the Port Arthur Public Library are there waiting to assist in library needs. Friends president Ray Cline recently opened the doors to a shed filled with boxes of donated books that will be up for sale.

Cline said it would look a bit different inside the room during the sale because the library doesn’t have stackable tables anymore. In the past the cafeteria-style tables were stacked on top of each other — books on both levels, giving the potential buyer a chance to look at more titles. The group is working on a remedy , possibly placing boxes under the tables and/or refreshing the stock as room allows.

Proceeds go back to the library for things like the Summer Reading Program and other library needs.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter for The News. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com