Storytimes, book sale shelves, more in the works

I have a thing for books. Always have. Maybe it began with "Pat the Bunny," "The Story of Ferdinand" or "The Snowy Day." Perhaps it was when I attended my first library storytime. Afterward, I was encouraged to choose a few books to bring home from what seemed like endless shelves of possibilities.

Now that I work at a library, I see my coworkers smiling as they pick a new set of books to share when storytime sessions restart June 15. The summer session for all ages will be enjoyed outdoors at Burns Field. On rainy days, storytime will be held inside the library where our endless shelves await the browsing of little hands. Register at

At home, the family bookshelves also captivated younger me - books my father had read as a child and then in college, books my mother was reading with her book group, as well as those to complete her college degree in her 50s. Books handed down through generations with names inscribed in beautiful cursive, or bookplates carefully glued inside front covers with vintage looking typewriter fonts. Lifelong companions.

As a keeper of the books, inevitably the question becomes what to retain and what to let go. Books by Marie Kondo and Margareta Magnusson can help you guiltlessly part with old friends. You can try to determine the monetary value of your treasures by checking sites like eBay, AbeBooks or

"Take a look at what similar books have sold for – not what price they're listed at," recommends Lizzy Boden, adult services manager.

And, you can share your gently worn treasures with the community when the library reopens its Book Sale shelves in May. Children's books are quick sellers, as are coffee table books, cookbooks and fiction. Donate hardcovers and softcovers, as long as the pages are not too golden, the dog hasn't chewed them and the mice haven't found them. As a buyer, book sales are a great place to discover a new author, try different genres, or build a home library for a child.

Sometimes a book that has been read by many in town will pop up in the book sale. Perhaps someone that attends The Library Edition Book Club on Wednesday, June 8, to discuss the real-life friendship of Loie Fuller and Marie Curie will donate "Radiant: the Dancer, the Scientist and a Friendship Forged in Light" by Liz Heinecke. School summer reading list titles often arrive after lockers are cleaned and returning college students unpack. (And, of course, we always have plenty of copies for you to borrow.)

If our copies of "Crying in H-Mart" have all been checked out, maybe someone donated one after reading it for the upcoming Illinois Libraries Present virtual event. The author, Michelle Zauner, will be discussing her music career as the lead vocalist for "Japanese Breakfast" and her bestselling memoir at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 18. (Register online to get the link.)

When you're ready to go through your collection, we suggest you hang on to that 1937 copy of "The Hobbit" and other titles that have personal value. Discard items that have been damaged by the elements of other unfortunate events and share books that are ready for new readers with family, neighbors or the community. Whether you are donating your gently used books, browsing the shelves, or attending a program, we look forward to seeing you in the library.

- Martha Kennedy is the patron services manager at the Hinsdale Public Library.