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Lending a hand to an area library

Barnes & Noble hosts holiday book drive for West Pittston Library, which was devastated by flood.

Bookseller Barnes & Noble hopes to help the flood-ravaged West Pittston Library by hosting a holiday book drive at its Wilkes-Barre Township store.

The store in the Arena Hub Plaza has hosted the book drive as part of a national program for several years and in previous years donated books to charitable organizations such as Catholic Social Services and the Children’s Miracle Network, but this is the first year proceeds will go to a library.

“This year it was just a no-brainer; they needed our help,” said store spokeswoman Donna Wench. “They lost everything, not only the building but everything in the building.”

Under the program, Barnes & Noble shoppers may purchase a new book of their choice or choose one from a wish list submitted by the library. The drive runs until Jan. 1.

The bookseller will also donate up to 20 percent of purchases made between Dec. 11 and Dec. 13 at any Barnes & Noble store, or online through Dec. 18, to the library. Customers at the Wilkes-Barre Township store need only ask to participate in the program at check-out time, while customers shopping at other locations or online need to mention the West Pittston Library’s code: 10591287.

The library on Exeter Avenue was devastated by the September flood. It lost more than 14,000 books, including volumes stored for its annual book sale, as well as computer equipment, shelving and furniture.

“We’re very grateful to Barnes & Noble and we’re very, very happy that their doing that for us,” library worker Helen Soska said.

The library is currently operating from a temporary location in the former Blockbuster Video store inside the Insalaco Shopping Center in West Pittston. Soska said the library hopes to return to its former location by mid-January.

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