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Annual book sale raises funds for Shepherdstown Library’s new building

By Staff | May 18, 2018

Tabitha Johnston/Chronicle FOSL volunteer Wendy Mopsik, left, talks to FOSL Treasurer Sidney Lewis during the FOSL book sale Saturday afternoon.

The Friends of Shepherdstown Library hosted its annual book sale at the War Memorial Building on Saturday and Sunday.

Between 5,000 and 10,000 community-donated books were for sale at the event, which raises about $4,000 for the Shepherdstown Library annually. Although previous sales have benefited the library’s programs, this year’s proceeds were designated for the library’s building fund, which is short about $150,000.

“We try to raise extra money for the library, because there is no dedicated millage to the library in Jefferson County,” said FOSL President Larry Blash. Blash, who has held the position for five years, said the sale is one of FOSL’s three fundraisers, which also include Rumsey Radio Hour and “Left of the Bank” music and poetry event.

Blash said FOSL stored the books in a storage container as community members donated them over the past year. To help its aging volunteers this year, FOSL hired a group of five Shepherd University students to handle heavy lifting and book transportation.

“We’ve had a lot of people today,” Blash said Saturday afternoon as he manned a cash drawer at the event. “Our donations were a little bit down this year, because last year, two people who were moving into assisted living-one a retired professor from Shepherd-donated their entire libraries to us, which totaled about 3,000 good-quality books.”

Judy Sopenski, of Sharpsburg, Maryland, attended the fundraiser Saturday.

“I went to this book sale because it has a wide selection of books. I bought $7 worth-seven books,” said Sopenski. “One of them was my favorite book that I’ve taken out of the library multiple times, and decided I might as well go ahead and buy it.”

FOSL treasurer Sidney Lewis, who’s held the position for four years, said he joined FOSL because he felt he could use his experience to help the community.

“I had retired, I had worked all of my life in accounting and budgeting, and I felt I still had a lot to offer,” said Lewis. “I did not know anyone here at all, so FOSL was a great way to get involved – it’s been a wonderful experience.”

Stan Mopsik, of Frederick, Maryland, went to the event with his wife, Wendy, a former FOSL vice president.

“We come back every year to help out at the sale. We feel responsible for it, because I used to run this sale,” said Mopsik, as Wendy sorted through stacks of books on the self-improvement table.

“FOSL is very special to us. We come back all the time, and we are friends of the Shepherdstown Library,” Wendy Mopsik said. “You can move, but it’s hard to leave Shepherdstown.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Sidney Lewis as “she.” Sidney Lewis should have been referred to using male pronouns. The article has been updated to reflect this.