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Newly renovated book store at Harborfields Public Library reopens

Customers look through books at the grand reopening

Customers look through books at the grand reopening of the book shop in the Harborfields Public Library. (Jan 26, 2013) Credit: Ursula Moore

Kristina Strandfeldt is a retired Deer Park Junior High School English teacher who used to search for cheap books to use in her classroom. The search led her to the Harborfields Public Library Book Shop.

In an effort to peruse and choose books at her leisure, the Centerport woman decided to volunteer on Saturdays.

Strandfeldt, 68, has been volunteering at the book shop for the past 25 years.

“There were 25-cent books at the time and the books were in good condition. Most people assume that teachers are given books by the schools but we had to get most of the books on our own,” said Strandfeldt.

As one of the volunteers Saturday at the reopening of the renamed Friends Little Book Shop, Strandfeldt couldn’t have been happier. The event was hosted by the Friends of the Harborfields Public Library and held in the Harborfields Public Library’s meeting room wing.

The book shop has been closed since October for renovations. The renovated book shop now offers reconfigured book shelves, a new desk, new hardwood floors, a new children’s corner and wheelchair accessibility.

Harborfields Public Library director Carol Albano was thrilled to see the smiles on the many faces of reading enthusiasts excited to look through the shelves of books, DVDs and CDs.

“People love to use the library and check out books but when you go on vacation with a used book from the book shop, you don’t have to worry about getting sand on the book or losing it,” said Albano. “Also, kids often fall in love with certain books and don’t want to give it back to the library.”

The history of the book shop dates back to 1971. The original shop was just a cart of used books sold at the Harborfields library which was only a trailer back then on Taylor Avenue in Greenlawn. Then in 1979, the book shop moved to the new Harborfields Public Library on Broadway Avenue where it finally had its own room.

The book shop offers all types of books including classics, fiction and nonfiction, history, self-help, cookbooks, young adults, children’s and oversized coffee table books. The book shop also offers DVDs, CDs, tote bags and mugs. All the items are donations from the community.

“Books that sell for $15 in a regular book store, you can get here for $2. These books look like they have never been read,” said Jennifer Handler, staff member at the Harborfields Public Library.

The hours for the book shop are Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one Sunday a month known as “Concert Sunday” from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Shirley Conlin, of Centerport, was happy with her gently used book purchases.

“The book shop is great. It’s like a real bookstore,” said Conlin. “I bought two books for my granddaughter — “Storm Warning” and “The Music of Dolphins.” I spent $1. I will be back.”

The Friends of the Harborfields Public Library is a nonprofit that was created in 1970 consisting of volunteers who work with the Harborfields library staff to provide additional funding for special programs and items for the library.

With close to 150 people in attendance, the book shop grand opening raised $710 for the Friends of the Harborfields Public Library.

“The Friends are the most active and supportive people,” said Harborfields Public Library program coordinator Susan Hope. “People have been clamoring for months wanting to buy books from the book shop. We have big time readers in this community. The book shop is a community stable.”

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