A $1,000 donation check was presented to Liz Chapman, Manager of the Buellton Branch Library. A $1,500 donation check was presented to Carey McKinnon, Supervisor of the Solvang Branch Library and Carolyn Lawrence, President of the not-for-profit Santa Ynez Valley Friends of the Library (which includes Solvang, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos branches). Ms. Chapman indicated that the funds would be used especially to add to the Young Adult and Children’s book selections as well as more audio books. Ms. McKinnon welcomed the funds to help keep the Solvang branch staffed and open more hours. Ms. Lawrence indicated that that a portion of the monies would be used to enhance the book selections in the cozy Los Olivos and Santa Ynez branch buildings.
The donated funds were raised at this year’s St. Mark’s Book Faire; which organizers have announced will be the final edition of this popular event that has run for more than 30 years. The Book Faire was launched by Shirley Stacy in the 1970s when St. Mark’s was located in Solvang on Laurel Avenue; and it successfully expanded when St. Mark’s moved to its present downtown Los Olivos location in 1982. Books have always been pre-sorted, categorized and sold “by the inch.” Long-time Book Faire volunteer Olivia Flisher remarked that prices in the early days were 25 cents per inch—and this year were $2.00 per inch; reflecting the three decades of increases in value.
According to the Rev. Dr. Randall Day, St. Mark’s priest and rector, “Our hard-working Book Faire volunteers have decided to write the final chapter of the event this year. Everyone at St. Mark’s and many in the wider community are grateful for the more than three decades in which this event has made such an important contribution annually to the libraries and to the reading public. The Book Faire allowed many books to find their way to other hands and be reused or recycled, and not just added to the landfill. Regrettably, the increasing number of other events and programs at St. Mark’s do not allow us to continue the Book Faire. If another organization chooses to take it on, former Book Faire volunteers will be glad to offer advice and share insights. We are also thankful for all the involvement and support of many of our Valley neighbors through the years.”