Library guild helped bring reading to the Ranch

RANCHO SANTA FE — On a recent Thursday, the twice annual half-price book sale at their Book Cellar kept the members of the Rancho Santa Fe Library Guild hopping.
A healthy crowd converged on the shop, searching the shelves, hauling out stacks of books, and standing in line to check out and pay for their finds.
Guild member Donna Culver was manning the cash box, adding up lines of numbers as she checked the book prices.
“We have a great selection, great prices and once in a while people find a rare book that we didn’t notice,” Culver said.
Herb Weissman had found four books and was still searching the tent outside the shop for more.
“I come here at least once a month,” Weissman, a Rancho Santa Fe resident, said. “I enjoy the library, the guild has a nice shop and a good selection and the prices are outstanding.”
The O’Keefe family came all the way from Ramona to check out the sale.
Eva, 9; Jenni, 11; and William, 7, had picked out a huge stack of books for their mom Faye to purchase for them.
“We come here every year for the sales,” Faye O’Keefe said.
Rancho Santa Fe resident Pam Bills, holding granddaughter Sarah, 7 months, said the baby picked out her very first big book titled “Read to me Grandpa.”
The nonprofit organization runs on the kindness of the community who donate the books, their time and the funds to keep it running beautifully. Organizers of the event hoped to raise about $6,000 to put toward the library.
The Rancho Santa Fe Library Guild was founded in the 1940s, said longtime member Nan Werner.
“Some people who lived in the area wanted a library, and got books for it,” she said.
They opened the library in a store in the Village.
“We then moved up to book mobile status,” she said.
Next the guild bought the property on which the library now stands and raised money to build the building for the library in the 1960s.
In the 1980s, they financed the expansion of the library adding the community room, the Book Cellar shop, the children’s library and guild offices, she said.
Although it houses a San Diego County Library, the guild still buys many of the books, books on tape, pays the salaries of several employees and keeps up the maintenance of the building. The county pays to rent the building for its library space.
“I come here every time they have a sale and at least once a month in between,” Karen Litch of Rancho Santa Fe said.
As guild member Diana Ashton finally had a chance to look up from a steady stream of customers, she said she enjoyed being a member.
“This is my favorite thing in the world. You get to meet the nicest people,” she said.

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