Longtime library volunteer is ‘the heart and soul of the bookroom’

The Morgantown Public Library is seeking volunteers, for more information call 304- 291-7425.

Tiffany Morgan, The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — “Talk louder.”

These are words you do not usually hear at a library, but William Mahoney has said this to several people during the Morgantown Public Library Book Sale.

Mahoney likes to keep it lively during the book sale by striking up conversations with those who check out and commenting on the books they have found enough interest in to buy.

Mahoney, a member of the Friends of the Library, has been volunteering at the book sales for six years.

According to Janet Paine, also a member of the Friends of the Library, she said he is “the heart and soul of the bookroom.”

Why does he do it? Mahoney said he likes being a volunteer for the library because he gets to help host the sale — and the most important part of his volunteer job is seeing the various books, old or new.

“You don’t know what’s coming in next,” Mahoney said. “Obscure books come in, we have classics … any time the library is open we get constant contributions.”

Mahoney said he loves the number of people who come to the sale and find a book, or several, that pique their interest. From “regulars” to new people, Mahoney said he appreciates seeing them all attend.

“There are regular people that come in and I know what they like, so sometimes I put books aside for them because they really support the book sales,” Mahoney said. “But then there are a lot of new people that come and that’s exciting to see — different people coming in from one sale to another.”

Not only does he see high school and college students, but Mahoney said professors from WVU come to some of the sales, bringing their family along.

“People from other countries are always neat, too. They’re here teaching at WVU and they’ll bring their kids in to get them kids’ books,” Mahoney said.

According to Mahoney, there are always endless donations of books that go towards the book sale.

In addition to the book sale itself, Friends of the Library sell books on Amazon to make more profit for the library.

Mahoney added that he wished there was more room for the book sale, but they manage with the room available.

“I wish this was a bigger room,” Mahoney said. “If we had more room, we could have twice the size … but there’s limited space.”

According to the library’s website, Friends of the Morgantown Public Library is to “focus public attention on library services, facilities and needs in the Morgantown community,” and “all proceeds raised by the Friends benefit the Morgantown Public Library.”

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