Cheatham County Library Director May Lingner is looking for ways to maximize The Friends of the Library Bookstore that is located in the lower level of the Cheatham County Library at 188 John Mayfield Dr.

“Many people still don’t realize that the bookstore exists,” Lingner said, noting that there are many potential treasures for people who like hard copies and paperbacks.

The Friends of the Cheatham County Public Library helps the library acquire new books and equipment beyond the library's budget.

Both of the FOL groups for the Cheatham County Library and the South Cheatham County Library depend on membership fees, donations and sales.

“With McKays so close by and people buying e-books, our book sales don’t bring in as much in sales as they used to,” said Janet Walker, the director of the South Cheatham branch. “But our library checks out 650 and 700 e-books through Tennessee Reads free audio and e-book download system. So, we’re going to have to reinvent our fundraising.”

FOL helps with paying for the entertainers and programs that the libraries host, especially for the kids in the summer, such as Songs By Jake featuring Jake Johnson, a songwriter, musician, performer, and author who recently performed at the Cheatham County Library; and Blast Off For Summer reading at South Cheatham Library led by Velvet Collier who is the children's librarian.

Betty Lou Chappell has been helping with the FOL for more than a year, stepping in to handle the bookstore at the Cheatham County location.

“I got involved with the bookstore because I love books,” said Chappell, a native of Rochester, N.Y., who landed in Ashland City after moving from South Carolina.

“We have a little bit of everything, one whole section is just for young children. Then, there’s a young adults section. The rest of the bookstore is arranged according to the subject. The most that we have on hand is fiction and mystery.”

Chappell, who said her background is interior design and decorating, said she got involved because she wanted to donate some cookbooks.

“We had huge book sales twice a year where I had worked before,” she said. “I’m hoping to get people to come and visit because there are so many nice things. What I’m gonna do is when I get some energy I’m going to go through the books. We need donations of books. I don’t care how many people bring in, I can go through them. I can’t help with getting the books out of their car. What we don’t need is encyclopedias and National Geographic magazines. They’re so old and out of date.”

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FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY BOOKSTORE

Where: Lower level of the Cheatham County Library at 188 John Mayfield Dr. off Frey Street.

When: The first and third Thursday and the fourth Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

How to join: Annual membership dues are: Students or Seniors (65 or older) - $10; Individual - $20; Family - $30; Business - $40; Benefactor - $150.

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