Sometimes the path to get somewhere isn’t always the smoothest. 

One year ago, I traveled to the former Elijah Buell school building to see firsthand what an unrelenting winter had done to a building that no longer housed students.

This time, the building was home to books. Thousands of them, actually. 

That was the beginning of a year-long journey for the Friends of the Library to find a home for its used book sale, which featured more than 50,000 books all sold for $1 or less. All the proceeds benefitted the library. 

The damage from the water-pipe burst last year destroyed hundreds of books. That wasn’t the group’s biggest concern, though.

The group was once again without a home, something that wasn’t uncommon during the years. 

In 2011, the group faced a similar dilemma, albeit without the water damage. The Friends had conducted its used book sale for years, operating out of school buildings shut down years ago to make way for consolidation. 

That’s when the group found a permanent spot in Elijah Buell, until last year’s winter dealt it a different hand. 

The group went looking, and found a temporary home at the old Jefferson school in July. However, with thousands of books, it doesn’t take long to realize that moving from place to place could get tiresome after awhile.

The books needed a permanent home, and starting this week, that became a reality. 

The Friends of the Library’s Underground book store opened its doors Wednesday at the Clinton Public Library. The store will be open from 10 am. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Saturdays, and from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays.

Moving the Underground in the former Root Cellar at the main branch is a good use of that space. This is a far cry from a little more than a year ago, when budget cuts forced the library to cut down on services at the Lyons branch.

Now, the Root Cellar, which is a hot spot for genealogists to do research, is located at the library’s Lyons branch, giving way to a use of that building’s space, too. 

Keeping these amenities open to the public is a good sign, especially with the continued need for things to do in this area.

The hours have been cut for patrons going to the Lyons branch, but I still see a positive in this service being available. 

Now, it’s the public’s turn to continue to show support for these offerings.

When my wife and I first began our journey into parenthood, we were blown away by the amount of quality children’s books available for just a few quarters at the annual book sale. We still have many of those books and continue to promote literacy to our children.

Giving children access to books is something the entire community can rally around. Reading to children during their earliest years of development is a proven method to improving their mental capacity. 

The Friends of the Library and the Clinton Public Library have shown that having access to those materials at a low cost is important to them. In turn, we should support that continued mindset by picking up bargains while helping out the library.

The road may not always be the easiest, but in the case of the Friends finding a home, the path was in the right direction. 

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor of the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at scottlevine@clintonherald.com.

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