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City of Argo to host book sale on Saturday

By Shaun Szkolnik, for the Tribune

ARGO — The city of Argo has a unique library system that meets the needs of the citizens in a way that only a caring, small city can.

“What we have is called a lending library,” said city councilor Ann Brown. “It is at city hall. It is four bookcases…People come by and get books, and they bring them back, or they pass them along to somebody else, and they donate other books.”

Argo Lending Library

Patrons are encouraged to enjoy books from these shelves and to return them without the worry of library cards, fines or the various incidentals that accompany libraries of a more traditional design.

Though it is small, the Argo lending library punches well above its weight.

“We’ve got paperbacks, hardbacks, fiction, non-fiction,” said Brown. “We came upon these books when Ashville consolidated their libraries and all the cities in St. Clair County were allowed to get what they wanted from the inventory that was left.”

In addition to the donation from the Ashville library, this little lending library that could has had its inventory supplemented by donations from citizens and even from the Trussville Public Library.

“We’ve had a ton of people donate books,” said Brown. “And Trussville has donated a ton of books from their last book sale. I think I have 19 boxes of paperbacks in my basement that the Trussville Friends of the Library gave us.”

The generosity of the Jefferson and St. Clair communities has been so great that there are far more books than the four bookshelves can accommodate. This creates the problem of an idle resource and the opportunity cost of resources that must be expended to maintain it; namely space. Fortunately, the city of Argo’s lending library has another problem. While it may have more books than it needs, it does not have as many children’s books as it wants. Two wrongs may not make a right but, in this situation at least, two problems can make for a solution. That solution is a book sale.

“We don’t have a shortage of books,” said Brown. “But we would like to buy more children’s books. So, I’m hoping with the funds that we make and the donations that we get from this sale that we will be able to purchase some more books and especially children’s books.”

The book sale will be held from on Highway 11 in Argo (between Corky’s Mini Storage and Fastenal) from the hours of 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Kona Ice will also be on hand and possibly Southland Barbeque.

Shoppers will be allowed to buy a cellophane (grocery store style) bag of books for $5.

Argo Lending Library

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