“The line outside was bigger than last year,” said event organizer Dolores Luebke. “When we opened the doors, we were just flooded with people.”
That line stretched from the front door of the Mettawee Community School, all the way out to Route 153 and included more than 75 people.
It was probably a good thing, then, that the auditorium, hallways and patio at Mettawee were packed with more than 25,000 books for sale to benefit the library.
When Luebke totaled sales at the end of Saturday, the magic number was $9,544. Sunday’s total was $1,266. It is always lower, Luebke said, partly because of the big bag sale at the end. The final total, $10,800 made her very happy and a bit reflective.
“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers,” Luebke said. “We get so much help it makes it much easier.”
That help runs throughout the year, Luebke said, with volunteers transporting books to storage locations and sorting them.
The real work began Wednesday when about 40 youths and families from the Oxbow Mountain Shooting Sports 4-H group helped move the books and continued for two days of setup. After two days of volunteers selling books, students from Mettawee, including the rising sixth-graders, boxed up the books and got them ready for a used-book seller who takes the remainder every year.
Luebke was quick to point out her volunteers, who include Christine Chilkott, manning one of the main check-out tables. Her son, Rich Chilkott, is the custodian at Mettawee, and Luebke said he and Bill Woods were very important in setting up the facility and taking down at the end. She also pointed to the work of trustees chairman Adelle Seamans, Glenn Munson and others. She said there were a number of volunteers from out-of-state, who spent the summers in the area, including Rachel Eirman, who will be a junior at St. Joseph Catholic Academy in Pennsylvania, who was working in the kitchen.