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Sewickley library auction lets donors spend day with staff

| Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, 11:00 a.m.

If you've ever wondered how your favorite local librarian spends his or her day, now is your chance to find out.

Sewickley Public Library is hosting its first librarian auction this month, where patrons can bid to spend the afternoon with their favorite librarian, tour the library's private areas and find out what a librarian's job entails.

“We always hear, ‘Oh, it must be so much fun to be a librarian. You must read all day.' It's not that at all,” said web services/communications librarian Meghan Snatchko. “There's kind of this shroud of mystery surrounding us. But really, we're just normal people.”

As part of the Allegheny County Library Association's “Love Your Library” month, librarians at the Sewickley Public Library are hosting an array of fundraisers, where the money raised will, at least in part, be matched by a donation from the Jack Buncher Foundation.

All participating libraries in the county will receive a prorated portion of a $150,000 match pool. Individual donations can be matched up to $500.

Along with the “Shh… A Silent Auction for Lunch with a Librarian” fundraiser, where bids are being accepted through Sept. 15, the will kick off ticket sales for “Savoring Sewickley,” in it's 18th year, where local restaurants serve up a variety of dinner options at the library on Oct. 22. Tickets for “Savoring Sewickley” are $75 per person. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m.

Library leaders also are finalizing plans for an evening of guest bartending at Sidelines Bar and Grill on Sept. 25. A time for the event has not yet been determined.

Funds raised from all of the programs in September will be part of the “Love Your Library” grant match program, Snatchko said.

The silent auction for lunch with a librarian is new this year. After hearing about a local school district that raised funds through “lunch with a teacher” days, library staffers decided to try the idea in their own way — library style.

Bids are being accepted for lunch and a tour of the library either at the library or online at

Patrons can bid on lunch with various library departments, from teen to circulation.

The winners will go to lunch with two staffers from the department and can talk about anything library related. Personal topics are off the table.

The winner will pay for his or her lunch and the library staffers will pay for theirs. Donations must be made in September, but the lunch can be scheduled for later in the year.

Tours of the library will include behind the scenes, like the tech services area, where books are cataloged and prepared for the library floor, or the children's area where there's a variety of “crazy toys, puppets and all of the most random things you can think of,” Snatchko said.

The program is something different that people in the community can partake in and still support their library, Snatchko said.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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