Where did this year go?! The Friends’ final book sale of 2019 takes place the first weekend of December and, in addition to our usual fare, we have several interesting collections and items for you to consider.

Looking for holiday craft or cooking/entertaining ideas? Whether you’re trying to track down a vintage recipe, want some tips for planning a memorable holiday party, or need inspiration for personalized, hand-crafted gifts, our craft, cooking, and childrens' sections may have just what you need. Seeking a copy of a favorite or classic holiday tale or in the mood for a new Christmas story? Our holiday fiction, special books, childrens, and audio-visual sections might have those gems just waiting for you. 

Donations over the last two months substantially increased our LGBTQ collection. If you’re looking for specific titles or topics, or just are interested in expanding your knowledge in this area, our broadened selection of LGBTQ nonfiction and fiction may be able to help you.

Interested in beginning or expanding your collection of North Carolina books? Check out the selection of items available from a special donation.  

We've also assembled a variety of sets of books, ranging between three and ten to a set, at a mere fraction of the cost of multiple, individual books.  A number of them are holiday-themed and in gift-giving condition. Come see if this is your lucky day! 

Are you a history buff or know one you’d like to surprise? Our well-stocked history section contains numerous gems! And, if you’re interested in a complete set of a vintage 1957 Americana Encyclopedia, there’s one—free for the taking—just waiting for you.

Join us on Dec 7th and 8th at Books Among Friends in Northgate Mall for our final 2019 Big Book Sale!  As a reminder, with Sears closed, you will need to enter near Plato's Closet.  Once inside the mall, look for the sign and turn left towards the old Sears.  Don't forget—on Saturday, members can enter the sale at 10:00 AM, and the sale is open to the public from 12:00 AM - 4:00 PM. On Sunday, doors are open to all between 1:00 PM – 4 PM.

Books in Barbershops & Beauty Salons
By Joel White, Children’s Services Manager, South Regional Library
In celebration of National Book Month, Durham County Library launched Books in Barbershops & Salons (BIBS), funded by the Friends of the Durham Library. This literacy initiative is designed to encourage children and teens to read while they wait for barber and salon services. With average wait times usually from 30 minutes to over an hour in some cases, children and teens become restless and often spend time on their phones or watching TV to pass the time.
The BIBS initiative provides a reading alternative to encourage them to use this time discovering great books and engaging stories. Thanks to this generous support of the Friends, three sites have been set up with brand new book collections for children and teens and a book case to house them. As part of this pilot project, the following locations have received collections:
Gail’s Hair Salon
3208 Guess Rd.
Durham, NC 27705
The Renaissance Barbershop
7001 Fayetteville Rd. #131
Durham, NC 27713
Nice Trim Barbershop & Salon
4600 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. #28
Durham, NC 27707
To further encourage children to read, those who read while waiting will receive a “BIBS Buck,” which they can turn in to their service provider and receive a $1 discount on their barber or salon service that same day. Discounts are generously donated by each location. Children and teens also have the option to exchange their reward for a prize from a “BIBS Treasure Chest” made possible by the Friends of the Durham Library.

We are excited about the potential for this project, and in pursuit of our Durham County Library mission to lead in literacy, we are working to identify non-traditional places to expand our reach. We must meet kids in places they frequent. Barbershops and salons are opportune places to reach such a captive audience. Our hope is to eventually expand the program to other Durham shops and salons. As an added benefit, many of the titles selected feature African American characters or are written by African American authors.
Southwest Regional Library 2019 Program Highlights

by Kammie Michael, Friends of the Durham Library Board Member and newsletter committee co-chair

Ruth Link, Interim Manager at Southwest Library, highlighted many programs at her branch during the Friends of the Durham Library meeting in October.
On September 28, 39 teens from across the Triangle attended an LGBTQ Lock-In at the Southwest Library. Robin Talley, an American author of young adult novels featuring racially diverse and LGBTQ+ charactors, spoke to the teens and signed books during the event.  The lock-in included a pizza dinner and the teens watched the movie Love Simon. 
The teens enjoyed fun filled activity stations including an LGBTQ history scavenger hunt, rainbow cupcake decorating, rainbow bath bombs, and other rainbow-themed crafts. The participants gave the lock-in exceptionally positive reviews and look forward to another event, according to surveys filled out by the teens.

The summer reading event at Southwest was successful with adults logging 281,022 minutes of reading and teens logging 105,308 minutes. Kids logged the most reading minutes with 585,080 minutes. The goal was for each reader to read for at least 1,000 minutes.
The Durham Comics Fest was held at the library from July 10 through July 14 and 562 people attended. This was the second year in a row that more than 500 people attended this event.  Friends of the Durham Library provided funding for this event, which included speakers, a documentary, workshops and a Local Comics Creator Night. Link said the event attracted kids, teens and adults and a very diverse group of participants. “We are a library for everyone,” she said. 
The Triangle Comics Creator Network will be hosting a Comics Creator Hangout on Dec. 4. The hangout is meant to engage creators in networking and let them showcase their work.

The event will include guest speaker Erim Akpan and will be held at the Atomic Empire, in Westgate Shopping Center in Durham.  Creators of all ages and skill levels are welcome to attend.  

For more information about this event and to read the full article in The Daily Tar Heel, please visit
Durham Reads Together 2019

by Jenny Levine, Humanities & Adult Programming Coordinator, and Jan Seabock, Collection Development Administrative Librarian
Durham Reads Together is a biennial celebration of reading. In October 2019, people across Durham County came together to read, discuss, and attend programs connected to The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South by Osha Gray Davidson. With generous funding from the Friends of the Durham Library, collection development staff were able to purchase copies of The Best of Enemies in multiple formats to ensure that the community had easy access to participate in Durham Reads Together 2019.
Friends funding made it possible to purchase 100 paperbacks, 35 DVDs, and 10 audiobooks on disc for patrons to check out from the library. A two-month, unlimited, simultaneous use e-book was licensed on Overdrive/Libby so that e-book users could immediately check out and download from home with no waiting. Five staff “book club kits” included a copy of the paperback and a list of discussion questions and relevant news articles to assist staff who featured The Best of Enemies in their library-sponsored book clubs. Finally, once checkouts have slowed, two book club kits will be created with 12 copies each of the paperback, ensuring that patron-run book clubs will have an easy way to get started with their own discussion of The Best of Enemies.
With additional funding from the Friends, the Durham Reads Together Committee was able to provide t-shirts for every staff member (plus several extra). These fantastic t-shirts worked well to advertise the programming and remind everyone to read The Best of Enemies. We were very pleased to be able to offer one to the author, Osha Gray Davidson, to take home as a reminder of his talk and the valuable contribution his book has been to our community. We also gave t-shirts to our partner committee members at Durham Tech.
In November, Patrick Holt, Adult Services Librarian at Southwest Regional Library and Durham Comics Fest creator, attended the New York Library Association (NYLA) upon the invitation of Laurie Dreyer, an officer of NYLA’s Pop Culture Round Table. Laurie had asked Patrick to come share his experience as one of the Fest’s organizers over the past decade.  He sat on a panel with another festival organizer to a room full of about 80 people who wanted to learn how to do a similar project with little or no funding.  During the event, Patrick was proud to display the Friends logo during the presentation, stating that “The Friends of the Durham Library made all this possible!”

During the conference a breakfast was sponsored by NYLA’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table, which featured a talk by Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) Executive Director, Charles Brownstein. CBLDF has been an important resource for creators, publishers, schools, and libraries facing First Amendment-related legal challenges for several decades, offering legal counsel, advice, letters of support, and much more.
Recently, they’ve begun to broaden their work to include the idea that “freedom of expression is the freedom to be yourself.”  Mr. Brownstein noted that libraries are a vital place where “being yourself” happens.  He elaborated to say that this meant being yourself as a reader – enjoying what you enjoy, thinking what you think, and seeing yourself in items on the shelf – but also as a creator.
Patrick shared copies of the TCCN Comics Anthology and the Durham Comics Project book with Mr. Brownstein who was thrilled to see exactly what he had discussed already in action through Durham Comics Fest. He stated that this was a perfect example of what he was speaking about and proposed that Patrick write a blog post for the CBLDF website about his work.  It's very exciting  to know that the Durham County Library and the Friends of the Library can make such an impact across the nation!  
To learn more about NYLA at, and more about CBLDF at  
Every year, Friends donates poinsettias that are placed at each of the regional branch locations.  These poinsettias celebrate the holidays and bring a festive spirit to the library branches!  We hope you enjoy the beauty of these Christmas flowers at your next library visit.
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