It might seem odd for a private bookstore to team up to help a public library system, but some see it as a match made in heaven.
"We look at it as a great partnership," said Cynthia Mason, community relations manager of Barnes & Noble's Wesley Chapel store. "Our goal is to put books in people's hands. Any way we can grow the passion is great."
The store at 28152 Paseo Drive is only a few months old and has already opened its doors to host a book fair on behalf of the Pasco County Library System. Proceeds raised during the event will benefit the Pasco Library Foundation.
The new nonprofit organization raises money to provide funding to the library system for its collections, technology, programming and more. Money raised pays for things above and beyond what the county budget will allow for.
As libraries face cuts in funding, the need for support is growing, said Stephen Kershner, assistant libraries director for Pasco County. He said efforts such as Barnes & Noble's are greatly appreciated.
The book fair takes place Monday through Feb. 15. During this time, supporters of the Pasco County Library Foundation can go to Barnes & Noble, buy any book and have a portion of their bill donated to the nonprofit organization.
Although Pasco County's libraries have kept up with most programming and services thanks to donations from groups such as the Friends of the Library, they are still suffering, said Paul Stonebridge, teen librarian at the Land O' Lakes Branch Library.
"The Barnes & Noble event is sort of a kickoff to kind of get some seed money in there to hopefully help preserve the library system," Stonebridge said.
Staff from the library system will host special events at Barnes & Noble during the book fair. Stonebridge will give a presentation on his travels in Japan, geared toward teen culture, anime and manga from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday. He will also discuss "Travels in Romania - Finding the real Dracula in Transylvania" from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday.
Other events include an e-Government presentation from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday and again from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 14. Clifford the Big Red Dog will appear at story time at noon Feb. 14. Local musician John Gold will also be on hand from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Supporters of the Pasco County Library Foundation can stop by local branch libraries to pick up vouchers to show at the Barnes & Nobel register at checkout. If vouchers aren't available, shoppers can make sure a percentage of their purchases goes to the nonprofit foundation by mentioning book fair ID No. 471672 during checkout.
For information about the library system, go to pasco libraries.org. To learn more about Barnes & Noble, go to bn.com.