SPRING HILL — This year’s Stuff-A-Bag sale of children’s books for just $1.50 a bag went well.
Maybe a little too well, as the all-volunteer Little Red Schoolhouse book store, which runs the program, was very nearly cleaned out of books for young readers and is hoping area residents will step up with donations.
“It went exceptionally well this year,” said Betty Geentiens, president of the Friends of the Library in Hernando County, which operates the schoolhouse 1208, Kenlake Ave. “As a matter of fact, we have very few books left.”
Geentiens was referring to books for children and teens. The Stuff-A-Bag program is something the Friends like to run during the summer, so running out of books as summer begins isn’t good. A recent donation of several boxes by a retiring teach helped, but there’s a lot of summer left, said Geentiens.
“We get a lot of books from teachers, but most are from the general public,” she said. The Friends of the Library also get some donations from the county library system, though not always children’s books.
The children’s book program helps parents, but also teachers who need quantities of books for their classes, said Geentiens. It’s often the case that people have these types of books stored in closets, garages or attics, she said, and she’s hoping word of the shortage will get out and area residents will come forward with donations.
The Friends of the Library work in tandem with the Hernando County Library System, with the mission to get books into the hands of readers. It’s been around in Hernando for 50 years, said Geentiens. The schoolhouse has romance novels for 10 cents, large print books, and music available in its store.
The Little Red Schoolhouse is the base of operation for the group, which has a wide range of books for sale there. All the proceeds go to support the group, which consists of volunteers and no paid staff.
The schoolhouse is open six days a week, opening at 10 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. There is no book drop at the library, so donations must be made during open hours.
Geentiens asks that donations not be left outside and that books brought in boxes or plastic containers to keep things organized during the sorting and shelving process.
The schoolhouse book store can be reached at 352-684-0660. Geentiens said the Friends of the Library also needs volunteers.