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Janet Enzmann, the longtime chairman of the Friends of the Coupeville Library book sale, watches Central Whidbey Lions members Steve Holmes, right, and Jim Jones, far right, work on the new Friends’ storage shed Tuesday in the back of the Coupeville Library.  - Paul Boring / Whidbey News-Times
Janet Enzmann, the longtime chairman of the Friends of the Coupeville Library book sale, watches Central Whidbey Lions members Steve Holmes, right, and Jim Jones, far right, work on the new Friends’ storage shed Tuesday in the back of the Coupeville Library.
— image credit: Paul Boring / Whidbey News-Times

Lions Club rescues library from its storage woes

Janet Enzmann of Coupeville loves books, but she also likes garage space.

The longtime chairman of the Friends of the Coupeville Library book sale took in scores of displaced pieces of literature last year after a parking job gone awry left the existing shed that housed the books clinging to life.

A cadre of Central Whidbey Lions sprang to action. The able-bodied crew, many of whom have decades of construction experience, had several other community projects underway or in the pipeline. They did, however, keep the Friends of the Library on their “to do” list and managed to formulate a plan that could end the lives of two birds with a single stone.

The Coupeville Farmers Market folks were in need of a shed. The Lions just happened to have access to a shed, albeit a structure in dire need of reconstructive surgery.

“We repaired the old shed and used rollers to get it down the hill,” said Lions member Bill Jones.

The expertly-restored storage shed was larger and cost far less than the farmers market volunteers were ready to spend.

“They did a beautiful job of repairing the shed,” Enzmann said.

“And it saved the library $125 for a dumpage fee,” Jones added.

With the old shed given a new location and purpose, the Lions gathered behind the library Monday and began construction on a new, more expansive space to accommodate the Friends’ books. The construction crew, undeterred by drizzle and cold, had made remarkable progress as of Tuesday.

“I feel like I can move in,” Enzmann said with an inordinately large smile. “This is a ‘can do’ bunch and they have so much energy.”

Lumbermens sold the bulk of the supplies at cost, significantly cutting expenses.

The months leading up to the project’s commencement were interesting for Enzmann, Friends of the Library President Kathie Schutte and Coupeville Library Manager Leslie Franzen.

“For months we used the old shed with a blue tarp covering the damaged section,” Enzmann recalled. “The door was first jammed shut and then stuck open. I would flip the tarp over and get inside and then reverse the process.”

Enzmann and Franzen finally added some permanency and stapled the tarp to the injured shed.

“I just carried on and the books kept rolling in,” Enzmann said. “I’m going to miss that blue tarp.”

The ineffectual shed door remained in place with the now vestigial lock attached, daring anyone to “break in” and risk a karmic nightmare.

The undaunted Enzmann said an 8-foot tall, 5-by-10 storage unit is currently packed to capacity with books ready to find new homes during the wildly popular bi-annual Memorial Day book sale Saturday, May 24 in the Coupeville Recreation Hall.

“I have another 1,500 books in my garage,” said the book sale chair and archivist/librarian at the Island County Historical Society Museum. “At least they only take up half of the garage.”

Enzmann will need many pairs of hands to relocate the books, but it is a formidable project she cannot wait to begin.

“Coupeville is so supportive of the library,” she said. “It really is amazing.”

The Friends of the Coupeville Library is a dynamic, not-for-profit, volunteer organization providing essential support to the facility. Many of members work on specific, library-related projects.

The organization supports the library by using funds generated by its book sales and silent book auction to purchase equipment for the facility and fund events and programs.

Membership applications are available at the Coupeville Library. The annual fee is a nominal $5. And donations of hardcover and paperback books in good condition are always welcome.

Books for sale

The bi-annual Friends of the Coupeville Library Memorial Day Book Sale will take place Saturday, May 24, in the Coupeville Recreation Hall.

Find a wide array of gently-used fiction, non-fiction, childrens books and more.

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