Their niche in the book nook

Glendale News Press

One story-obsessed couple help to make used books a destination for other local bookworms at the Glendale Public Library's Book Nook.

After living in Cincinnati all their lives, Stan and Helene Block moved to Glendale in 2001, and by 2002 they were trying to make the library better with Friends of the Glendale Public Library.

Each week, either one can be found on the first floor of Glendale Central Library in the Book Nook, a spot where library patrons can buy gently used books or DVDs.

The two joined the Friends, a group of about 25 volunteers, to fill their spare time.

"We were looking for something," Helene Block said. "We've always been doing public service work, and we were looking for something here in Glendale that would interest us."

The idea was the brainchild of Sandy Childs, another local volunteer at the library.

"She had been working already with the powers that be to try and get a used bookstore started at the library," Stan Block said. "There were some around in Los Angeles County. It was largely her efforts when the library did a remodel and was able to move a lot of the things around."

By 2005, the Book Nook was in business, and volunteers began to carefully sort out books in good condition from the tattered ones.

The program became more important as volunteers also generated supplemental revenue for the library to support children's summer reading programs. This is something that brings Stan Block satisfaction for his hard work.

"The budget has been hit hard by the ill times that we're in right now, so we are able to then fill the librarians' wish list with things that are off budget and give something back to the entire community that uses the library," Stan Block said.

The Book Nook has raised about $20,000 this year from sales, and the couple hope that more people will take advantage of the store and Amazon. com. Friends of the Glendale Public Library's website allows anyone to buy books from the library through Amazon.

When patrons purchase a book via Amazon they can donate to Friends of the Glendale Public Library, a cause very close to the Blocks' hearts.

"Meeting the people that come in and serving them and hearing the remarks about the Book Nook shows that it does seem to fill the need for a great niche of people," Helene Block said. "We would like to expand our audience, our customer base."

The volunteer-run Book Nook is open from noon to 8 p.m. every day and is on the first floor at Glendale Central Library, 222 E. Harvard St., Glendale.

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