Home Cinnaminson News ‘I like to read’

‘I like to read’

Good finds at Riverton library's weekly Sunday book sales

Albert J. Countryman Jr./The Sun
Mike Parker (left to right), volunteer Winnie Koch of Palmyra and borough resident Jim Griffin display some of the literature available during the recent Friends of the Riverton Library used book sale.

On a chilly Dec. 20, avid readers from Palmyra and Riverton found warmth in the borough library as they leafed through used books, audio books and music.

“I like to read, especially mysteries,” said Palmyra resident Winnie Koch, a Friends of the Riverton Library volunteer who collects a quarter each for paperbacks and 50 cents for hardbacks that patrons select from shelves of donated books.

“I like meeting new people, and I always end up buying some of the books for myself,” noted Koch, who pleasantly pointed out where the young adult books, romance novels and historical fiction are located in the stacks. Once a month, Koch also helps out at the weekly Sunday book sale staffed by volunteers.

“I really enjoy reading and I like shopping for books here,” said Jim Griffin, a lifetime Palmyra resident who first visited the Riverton Free Library as a Sacred Heart School student in the 1960s.

Before the Cinnaminson library opened in 1966, students from all three Tri-Boro towns filled the four, first-floor rooms to study, take out books and use encyclopedias – the internet of the day – to research term papers. It was also a meeting place for teenagers, who often had to be told to be quiet.

“This is a great place to find books,” observed Mike Parker, a former editor with the Cherry Hill-based Suburban newspapers, as he looked through the myriad books donated by area residents.

“We encourage book donations,” Koch said, pointing out that people who want de-clutter or who are moving can drop them off at the library during regular hours.

All the books are in good condition. Some patrons were purchasing last-minute holiday gifts on the 20th for stocking stuffers, an effort to encourage young people to cuddle with a book on a cold winter night and be transfixed by adventure or history, among other classic subjects.

One of the oldest libraries in South Jersey, the Riverton library’s association was founded on Jan. 12, 1899, by a group of community volunteers, and it was independent of any government body. The books were kept in the reading room of Christ Episcopal Church until 1908, when Sarah Morris Ogden purchased the cottage at 306 Main St. and deeded it to the association for $1 in memory of her late husband, Edward, the first mayor of Riverton.

The Riverton library became a full branch of the Burlington County Library System (BCLS) in 2003, giving patrons all the resources of a larger system. The library grounds and building – as well as all local financial resources like the management of donations and endowments – are the responsibility of the association.

So for more than a century, the library has been a beacon not only on cold days, but every day.

For information about upcoming used book sales or library hours, call (856) 829-2476 or go to rivertonfreelibrary.org.

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