The Friends of the Coquille Library Foundation Inc, (FOCL) successfully ran a bookstore on West 1st Street in Coquille from March 2021 to early January 2022 with books donated from the general public or the Coquille Library. The bookstore was open for business Tue - Sat, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. even throughout the pandemic, and was staffed by a dedicated team of about 15 community volunteers, and the FOCL Board Members. 100 percent of the sales were deposited into the FOCL bank account — $10,626 earned in total during the 10 months the store was open. All funds raised by the FOCL are used to support Library programs such as the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and to assist in the renovation of the new library in Coquille.
The store had a large selection of fiction in both paperback and hardcover, a dedicated children’s section, an impressive collection of westerns, and a smaller selection of reference books on a range of topics, such as sports, history, biographies, and gardening. We also had a selection of movies, audio books, and music CDs, and some wonderful coffee table books. Our customers appreciated the attention to detail shown by FOCL board members and volunteers in organizing the store prior to opening. All books were alphabetically organized by author; a time-consuming task, but one that reflected the dedication of the FOCL Board to win customer loyalty and encourage volunteers to help our cause. We also sold T-shirts and book bags from the store to generate further income.
Unfortunately, in early January 2022 the building sustained devastating weather damage following a powerful windstorm. We lost most of our paperback collection to water damage from an exposed hole in the ceiling, but thanks again to a team of hardy volunteers, we were able to box up the undamaged inventory into approximately 340 boxes and remove all the shelving, which the FOCL Board had purchased for the store. Ultimately the building was razed.
Since the closing of the store, FOCL board members have been searching for a suitable location in Coquille to reopen the store, without success. In the interim, the books have been housed in a private storage facility generously donated by two loyal customers of the store, and most of the shelves are stored in a board member’s double garage. We are so appreciative of their support in offering their space to store our inventory. Since we have been unsuccessful in finding a suitable store location, the time has come for the FOCL board members to discuss next steps and decide on what to do with all the donated books and approximately 40 wooden shelving units. One option discussed by the Board is to find a large temporary space to display the books while simultaneously holding ‘book sales’ to try and sell as much inventory as we can. Another option is to find a used bookstore within Oregon willing to take all the books and shelves; no small task.
Prior to the bookstore, the city generously allowed us to store our books at the Jefferson School, but that is no longer an option. The board members are open to suggestions.
The FOCL board members would like to thank all community members who volunteered, shopped, and supported our Book Nook book
store, and thanks to Paul Recanzone and his Family for allowing us to open a store in their building. On behalf of the FOCL board members, we can say that we did it all for the Coquille Library. Each and every one of us is a huge supporter of the Coquille Library, and of course, we are all avid readers.
If anyone reading this is interested in joining the FOCL Board, or if they have any suggestions for the FOCL board members on suitable space, please contact the Library Director, Teresa Lucas at 541-396-2166. She will pass on your message.
Caroline Morgan, Anne Conner, John Gunther, Patti Choquette, Stacey Christensen, Larry Close, and Elizabeth Workman.
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