Annual book fair ‘successful’

With a plethora of items for sale, ranging from books, to DVDs, all the way to classic vinyl records, the 19th annual Wichita Adult Literacy Council book fair, March 1-2, was successful according to organizers.

University Librarian and WALC tutor Clara Latham said the university provides the facility — Sikes Lake Center.

“Midwestern sponsors the book sale,” Latham said. “They load the tables and the chairs, stock the bathrooms, and they make sure the heat is on.  And, the football players bring all the books in.”

According to Franklin Bush, WALC book room manager, this year’s book fair was far better than last year.

“We believe this is already far better than last year’s Friday,” Bush said on Friday.  “There are more people here than I remember last year.”

Latham said she felt as though it was a bit more crowded than the previous year.

By the second day of general admission, Saturday, the difference between years was noticeable.

Jim Sernoe, mass communication department chair and WALC board member since 2012, said he noticed a difference between years.

“It seemed to me that more books sold,” Sernoe said.  “On Saturday, we had huge gaps on some of those tables.”

Bush said anything that is left after Saturday goes to one buyer on Sunday, and this time, they had a bit less than usual.

“On Sunday, there were only about 150 boxes of items,” Bush said. “And, normally there are a few hundred boxes, and then some.”

Beginning with roughly 30,000-35,000 items, and ending with only 150 boxes (which sold after the event) the sale provided a significant profit to WALC.

“I know it’s north of $15,000,” Bush said.  “I can definitely say that this is better than last year.”

Latham said the book fair is one of WALC’s major fundraisers.

“It’s one of the fundraisers that keeps the council up and running,” Latham said.

The book fair serves another purpose beyond providing funds to WALC.

“Another thing the book fair does is it brings attention to A: the problem, and B: the organization,” Sernoe said.  “A lot of people don’t know that there is a Literacy Council here.”

Bush also said the book fair is important for WALC.

“The book fair helps fund everything we do,” Bush said. “We help with everything we can, from helping adults learn how to read, to helping them get a driver’s license.”