Friends are fundraisers

Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Friends of the Merrimack Public Library Trustee Rick Barnes prepares at a preview sale for FMPL members another row of fiction books, mostly donated works ranging from scholarly tomes to antique books edged in faded gold burnished over the years by the fingertips of avid page turners.

The Friends of the Merrimack Public Library is a longstanding community organization whose volunteers promote programs, projects and the general enjoyment of the town library, an institution now in its 126th year.

The group’s volunteers recently manned the library’s Mid-Winter Book Sale, presented on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 26-27. The sale offered thousands of donated books, music, magazines and other contributions.

Merrimack residents Bryan Lee and Mallory Lee, his 5-year-old daughter, attended a FMPL preview sale on Friday night. Mallory spun a pair of black plastic clock hands secured with a shiny brass grommet to the center of a clock face on the cover of a book about telling time.

“I’m going to be a builder,” Mallory said. “I already built a hospital, out of wood blocks.”

Merrimack Public Library Director Yvette Couser said the girl had selected with no help from her dad nearly a dozen books. She told the pair that the library houses around 70,000 books.

“This sale not only raises funds for the library but truly offers something for all ages,” Couser said. “Mallory found many of her favorites.”

Danielle Muskiewicz, FMPL treasurer, supervised the checkout counter. Buyers paid a quarter for each children’s book or a dollar for others. A few patrons left with heavy cargo secured in corrugated reservoirs bulging with literary booty.

Jonathan Couser, FMPL secretary, and many other volunteers assisted in bagging purchases. Donated books and media items mingled with dozens deemed too well used and withdrawn from circulation.

Some of the Derderian family, Merrimack youngsters including Otto, 4, Silas, 7, and Lincoln, 9, manned totes filled with books about science, animals and trucks. Mom paid bargain prices.

Rick Barnes, library trustee, arranged scores of books in the general fiction section and noted some opportunities for membership in the FMPL, currently headed by Claire Muise, whose executive directors include Pauline DuCharme, Theresa Fletcher and Leslie Fish.

The nonprofit FMPL hosts fundraisers including bake sales, a trio of annual book sales and various holiday events. It sustains a books-on-tape collection, a video collection and other amenities. Guest speakers are backed by FMPL funds, as are free or highly discounted passes to museums.

More information about the Merrimack Public Library, 470 Daniel Webster Highway, and the FMPL is available by calling 424-5021.

Loretta Jackson may be contacted via email: