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Ed Palmer and the rest of the Lakewood Library Friends have amassed enough books, CDs, audio books and movies – all from donations – to start their very own library. But instead, they’ll be selling it all during Libraryfest on Saturday, September 10 to raise money to support the Lakewood Library.

Libraryfest originated back in 2001 when every public library in Dallas threw a celebration for the 100th anniversary of the Dallas Public Library.

“Every branch did a different kind of program to celebrate this event and a number of different events at the central library,” said Christina Worden, branch manager of the Lakewood Library. “And here at Lakewood, it became an annual tradition and it has evolved and changed.”

Although the book sale usually dominates the Libraryfest scene, it was the activities that actually came first; the book sale didn’t begin until 2007. This year, there will be face painting and crafts projects for the kids while their parents peruse the thousands of books, movies and music for sale. There will also be a raffle and food for sale from Whole Foods Market.

Ed Palmer, president of Lakewood Library Friends, said, “For our activities, we got our food sale and our book sale. We also have our raffles; we have individuals who give raffle items. We’ll have 10 or 11 raffle items and all of them are worth $100 to $150. So we sell the raffle tickets and they’re really nice stuff. Then, in the children’s activities, we have the face painting and the crafts going on.”

And, of course, there can’t be a festival without music and there will be plenty of bands taking the stage on Saturday. Some of the performers include Matt Tolentino, Zach Youpa and Sally & Bob Ackerman. The first band takes the stage at 11 a.m. and the last group will begin performing at 3:00 p.m.

Libraryfest has always been a very successful fundraiser for the Lakewood Library but the Lakewood Library Friends say that this year is more important than ever. Across the city, libraries have had their material budgets slashed by more than 40-percent over the last five years.

The library has turned to the Friends for help and they have delivered with plenty of books and furniture for the library. Still, there are a lot of gaps on the bookshelves that the Friends hope they can fill with the funds raised from Libraryfest. After all, a library, with a full complement of books and research materials, is an integral part of the community.

“Libraries are absolutely essential; they are the heart of the community,” said Palmer. “And they become more and more, especially in bad times. In bad times, you need the library…you need someplace you can go to apply for jobs. This library here is for the voting in the fall for the election. Organizations use the library for meeting purposes. The children use the library for research.”

There will be anywhere from 800 to 1,000 people at the library on Saturday, so expect a full house. There will books to buy, music to enjoy, food to eat but most importantly, it’ll be another opportunity for residents to gather together and support a vital part of the community.

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