For the first time the PMI attended the Clunes Booktown Festival (5-6 May), both to buy books for the library and to sell them. All four staff (Ellen Coates, Steven Haby, Chris Moysey-Barker, and Ursula Zamecnik) and four members of the Friends of the PMI (Greta Bain, Wendy Eldridge, Wendy Goodwin and Robyn Jones) attended. The Friends of the PMI put in a massive effort in getting ready for the sale: sorting and pricing more than 1000 books.
Head of the Friends of the PMI Wendy Eldridge sorting books in Clunes
On Friday we loaded up the van we hired (driven by Ursula) with the books, tables and marketing materials (including some truly excellent bookmarks) and we headed off for Ballarat, where we would be based for the four days.
Our spot in Clunes was the old Bluestone Church. It is owned by Wesley School and has been lovingly renovated and possibly most importantly, from our perspective, it has heating.
We shared the church with Gnosis Books, Tellurian Research Press, The Victorian Bookbinders Guild and the State Library of Victoria. We quickly made friends and contacts, including buying books from the other sellers. We unpacked and set up on Friday afternoon/evening, then on Saturday and Sunday got down to business. The days began at 8:00am and finished around 4:00pm. We worked in rostered shifts throughout the day with breaks and time for staff to go promoting and book buying.
On Sunday afternoon we made everything half price and were swamped, which was wonderful.
We finally packed up and went to a celebratory dinner at the Grapes Hotel, triumphant but very tired. Everyone worked incredibly hard and we sold the majority of the books we brought with us, collected 21 new books for the library and made so many fantastic new connections. A special thanks to Wendy Eldridge for so ably leading the troops and organising everything beforehand.
Ellen Coates (Collections Librarian)
Ellen Coates (Collections Librarian) and Steven Haby (Secretary Librarian)
The books we bought in Clunes