Saturday's second-annual "Bookin' It" 5K run drew 167 participants -- 149 in the actual 5K and 18 in a fun run -- a turnout that surpassed last year's inaugural offering that had just over 150 attendees.
The event brought in just over $3,000 for its sponsor, the Friends of the Bartow County Library System, which will donate the proceeds after expenses to the three-branch library system. Friends President Karen Barnhart said she hopes to see the race continue next year.
"That would be the plan, because those things grow year after year," Barnhart said. "We had lots of great comments about the race course, and just the way the race was run and how organized it was, so people start looking forward to that. We even had people from out of state this year, and that was just unbelievable."
In addition to raising needed funds for the library, Friends officials hope Saturday's event will lead more locals to the area facilities and their offerings.
"One of the [event's prize] drawings ... was for a book about running. The trophies that were given showed 'The Thinker,' which is certainly what one does in library settings. And the theme for the 5K was 'Bookin' It for the Library,'" said Iris Stein, acting vice president for the Friends. "We do this at a time when governmental agencies are cutting back, and to cut back at the library we feel is a mistake because of the tremendous impact it has on so many of the citizens of Bartow County who use all those facilities and can take advantage of those programs.
"It's not just about checking out books -- they offer children's programs, adult programs," Stein added.
Friends officials now look toward their next fundraising event -- Saturday, Sept. 4's quarterly used book sale, which will be held in the garage of the Cartersville Public Library.
While the sale runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., its first hour is for Friends members only, though non-members can join the day of the sale and partake in the early shopping opportunity. The last hour of the sale will let shoppers buy books by the bag -- they can purchase a recycled bag for $5, then fill their bag with books for an additional $5. They can then bring the bags back to future sales.
"When we count them, sometimes peoples have 20 or 25 hardcover in there, and normally those would be a dollar a piece, so you can see how that's a good deal," Barnhart said.
The Friends' last quarterly sale, which was held June 5, brought in $2,275.50. Barnhart says the group's new signs that advertise the sale, which were first used at the last sale, likely were one factor that led to the successful event.
"We really think that helped a lot, because we made more money in the June book sale than we had made in the last year or two," she said. "It was Dixie Yard Sale weekend, too, so that may have helped bring folks in, but we are going to start using that signage for every sale."
Though next month's sale falls during the holiday weekend that typically marks the end of the summer, Barnhart says she is not worried about the timing of the event.
"We wondered about that last year, because it was Labor Day weekend last year, but we did well," she said. "I think more people are staying maybe a little bit closer to home than maybe in the past. We had a good sale last Labor Day weekend, so we'll see what happens this year."