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Pictured, from left, are Upshur County Library Director Paul Norko receiving the donation from Upshur County Democratic Women's Group President Anne Chopyak and member Brooke Scott. / (Photo by Monica Zalaznik)

Upshur County Library has funds to purchase new children’s books, thanks to local Democratic women’s group

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Democratic Women’s group helped the Upshur County Public Library purchase 47 new children’s books.

Anne Chopyak, president of the Upshur County Democratic Women, said her group organized a craft swap in October to raise money for new children’s books. Chopyak explained how the craft swap worked.

“We asked crafters to donate any leftover materials they didn’t want anymore, and then people came into the library and purchased what they wanted for $5 a bag,” Chopyak said. “I was excited to see the response from the community – both in the donations and in the amount of people purchasing materials. We had whole families, children of all ages and several teachers purchasing materials.”

The craft swap raised $478, and the Upshur County Democratic Women’s group rounded out their total donation to $500.

“Paul pointed out there are new children’s books being published all the time, and they’re high quality, but the library has a very limited budget to purchase new materials, so that’s why we chose children’s books,” Chopyak said.

Upshur County Public Library Director Paul Norko said the donation allowed the library to almost double the number of children’s books they could purchase in one year.

“The new books were ordered last week, so you’ll see them start to arrive over the next couple of weeks,” Norko said. “We get a lot of our circulation from the children’s/picture book section because people come in for read-aloud programs and use those books. Children learning to read, like preschoolers, use those books and during story time, parents use those books, so overall, I think we have about 10 percent of our total circulation in that area.”

Norko said the library also doesn’t typically get donations for their children’s section.

“Our budget is very limited, especially for the children’s area,” he said. “We don’t get a lot of donations for it for that area, so this really helped to get these new 2022 and 2023 publications. We wouldn’t have been able to get these this year without the donation, and I think it’s one of our most important categories since it helps children learn how to read and enjoy reading from the beginning.”

Chopyak said the Upshur County Democratic Women hope to start organizing the craft swap annually to raise more funds for the library. More information about the Upshur County Public Library and its programs can be found on their Facebook page.

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