Friends of the Canby Library Give Gift of Reading for Christmas

Hundreds of local children will be taking home a free book this Christmas, thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Canby Public Library.

The local nonprofit normally spends the year hosting events and raising funds to support educational and cultural programming at the Canby library.

Because the library has been closed much of this year and most programs have been canceled or significantly modified due to the pandemic, the Friends elected to use a portion of its unspent funds to give 200 free books to Canby children.

The giveaway features two books: For third-through-fifth grade readers, Crenshaw, a fantasy novel about a 10-year-old and his imaginary friend — a talking cat — by Newbery Medal-winner Katherine Applegate; and for younger learners, Tacky the Penguin, a read-aloud story from beloved children’s book author Helen Lester.

The Friends purchased 100 copies of each from local bookseller The Book Nook.

“It has been such a hard year for families and kids, we just thought this was one small way we could reach out and show we care,” said Friends board member Mary Voskuil, who proposed the project and helped ensure it came to fruition. “We wanted them to know their community cares about them and is thinking about them during this holiday season.”

The book giveaway is also an expression of gratitude, Friends leaders said.

“We have received so much support from our community over the years,” agreed Co-Chair Lois Brooks. “Your support has enabled us to fund countless educational programs and concerts, as well as special projects like the Library Information Desk and the Teen Room. We wanted the entire Canby community to know how much we appreciate you.”

“We have missed seeing you this year,” said Co-Chair Catrina Nelson. “We have missed seeing the smiles, the dancing, the way a child’s eyes lights up when they see the Bird Man. But we’re not going anywhere. We hope you have a healthy and happy holiday season, and hope to see you in person in 2021.”

For your free copy, visit any of the following locations while supplies last: The Book Nook, Canby Kiwanis Thrift Store, Dahlia Home & Garden, Retro Revival and the Swan Island Dahlias Gift Shop. Books will be available starting Friday, Dec. 11.

The Friends have also pivoted on one of its most well-known annual fundraisers, the Canby Christmas Tour of Homes, which involves community members opening up their homes to visitors and showcasing their holiday decorations.

Instead, the Friends will be presenting their first-ever Christmas Tour of Lights, a festive review of the community’s best (outdoor) holiday finery hosted by board member Tyler Francke, of The Canby Current and Now Hear This Studios.

Look for that on the Friends of the Canby Public Library’s Facebook page on Saturday, Dec. 12, which is when the Christmas Tour of Homes would have occurred.

Earlier this year, the Friends hosted a series of outdoor book sales, as well as communitywide reading events for adults and teens.

The Friends also allocated funding to the library this spring to support the purchase of cameras and other equipment needed to produce virtual read-alongs and other remote programming.

“Our mission has not changed,” said Brooks. “We are still working to make Canby a great place to live and read, while adapting to the current restrictions.”

The Book Garden bookstore is currently operating through the Friends’ Facebook page. If you see a book or books you want to purchase, text your selections to the phone number listed.

Another way the Friends receive funding is through Fred Meyer Rewards and AmazonSmile Rewards which support community programs. Be sure to select The Friends of the Canby Public Library as your choice.

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