From April 11-18, the Santa Barbara Public Library will celebrate National Library Week with its Blowout Book Sale. During the week, the library will put hundreds of books, movies, and CDs on sale. Jace Turner, the Public Library’s Head Reference Librarian, expressed his excitement for National Library Week. “It’s a great excuse to get a little visibility for libraries in the community,” says Turner. And with paperbacks and CDs at 50 cents, DVDs and VHSs movies at $1, and hardcover books at $1.50, excitement is bound to spread.

The sale is not a liquidation of a failing business but a way to deal with a massive amount of new donations. Turner claimed the library system, far from fading the way video stores have in recent years, is thriving. In fact, as the recession worsens, the library seems to be becoming a more and more used facility. “We’ve seen an increase in traffic,” Turner said. In addition to the library regulars Turner sees every day, he has also noticed many new faces coming through the downtown central branch; the free Internet stations in the library, says Turner, are nearly always full.

Quietly tucked away in most towns, libraries rarely enjoy moments of glamour and attention. Started in 1958, National Library Week affords libraries a chance to give themselves a little publicity.

In keeping with their quiet reputation, the library’s celebration of its own history will be charmingly discreet. Turner says the cultural and historical displays ¾ which sit in the lobby of the library ¾ will be filled in mid-to-late April with a history of the library itself. Normally, the displays have a year-and-a-half waiting list, but later this month they will allow themselves a moment in the spotlight.

You can show your support for libraries this April 11th -18th by helping them in their spring cleaning and bringing home books that will never be overdue.


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