By JEROD CLAPP
> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Cold weather and snow-covered roads didn’t keep bookworms from seeking out fresh reads to curl up with on Saturday morning.
Libraries in Clark and Floyd counties had visitors borrowing as usual, but also gave them a chance to keep the books they took with books swaps and sales.
For the first time, the Clarksville Branch of the Jeffersonville Township Public Library hosted a book swap in its snack room. Patrons brought up to six books to exchange with whatever was on the table.
Pam Seabolt, branch manager, said as the roads began clearing, more people came in to take some new books and leave their finished ones for others.
“The weather’s kind of wonky, so I’ll probably try another one again this summer and go from there,” Seabolt said. “It’s open to anybody, adults and children, so people can bring in any books and trade them out.”
She said Clarksville Parks and Recreation tried a book swap at Clarksville Middle School before, but it didn’t get a whole lot of traffic. She said if all goes well, she hopes to have a book swap a few times a year.
Jerry Haggard, 61 of Sellersburg, brought in six books she finished reading for the swap. Walking away with a few new mystery and romance novels, she said she hopes there are more swaps as the year goes on.
“This is a neat thing to do,” Haggard said. “All of us have books we’ve read, and by the time you pass them around to your friends, you don’t really want to part with them without having something else.”
But while scheduling hasn’t been set up, Seabolt said a rack with books for sale is available every day. She said the books usually don’t stay on the shelf long, which gives readers a good variety if they check back once every couple of days.
At the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, a few people stood outside awaiting the opening of the bi-weekly book sale.
The sale, held by the Friends of the Library, raises money for various projects at the library.
Kathy Eickmann, store manager for the sale, said books come in from donors and the library, which she and her staff sort through and sell at deeply discounted rates.
She said regulars come in every two weeks to see what’s new.
“They love books and they know that when they come, there’s going to be a lot of stuff that wasn’t here the last time they came in,” Eickmann said.
Sometimes, the library hosts the sales with a theme. This week’s theme was Black History Month, featuring books for all ages about black history and some written by black authors.
Darrell Adams, 65, of Charlestown, said he appreciates the price point, which is usually between 25 cents and $1.
But he also said he likes getting new books and providing a little financial support for the public library.
“I think it helps the library out and gets a lot of books back into circulation,” Adams said. “A lot of times, they have the more recent publications up front and you can get some really good bargains up there.”
David Galligan and his brother, Peter, are Boy Scouts who volunteer at the library. They said they like having a chance to help out, but they also like getting their fill of fantasy books, graphic novels and old compilations of Mad Magazine.
“We use the library a lot and it’s nice to sponsor a program that gives the library money,” David said.
Eickmann said Friends of the Library have other ways of supporting programs for the public. Their annual meeting on Feb. 10 will feature a silent auction that includes baskets of books, tea and other items to raise funds.
She said some books with autographs from famous authors, including Wendell Berry, will be included, as well as tickets for Derby Dinner Playhouse and the Ogle Center at Indiana University Southeast.
A 53-year-old hand-made rug from the estate of Dr. P. Patrick Hess will go on auction and help fund the Indiana Room.