A popular fundraiser for the Hāwera Genealogy Society will take place again this year, to the delight of book lovers Taranaki-wide.
The Hāwera Genealogy Society book fair will take place at the start of October and will feature a wide range of books as well as puzzles, games, DVDs and cassettes, says Hāwera Genealogy Society convener Jill Williams.
"We collect the books all year in readiness for this annual book fair and as always, we will have plenty to suit all tastes at the book fair this year."
Jill says they are gratefully accepting donations of books, puzzles, etc, with only one exemption.
"No encyclopaedias please. We find people don't buy them now as they look things up online instead."
It's not just things people used to look in an encyclopedia for that is now available online. Jill says the Hāwera Genealogy Society members have noticed a trend in recent years for people looking for information from old newspapers online as well.
"When people are looking for details of their relatives, they often find helpful information in obituaries and death notices in old papers. Sometimes it can even give them the names of family members they didn't know existed, or details of a family home they didn't know about."
While groups like the Hāwera Genealogy Society often have files of old papers, not everyone lives near the area their family came from any more, she says.
"So it's really helpful having old community papers digitised, that is put up online onto the Papers Past website."
For the past three years, the funds raised by the annual Hāwera Genealogy Society book fair have gone to doing exactly that, she says.
"We have managed to get community papers from the area, dating between 1936 and 1945, fully digitised onto the website now, which is helping lots of people in their family research."
The plan is to continue with the project, using funds raised from this year's book fair she says.
"We raised about $20,000 from the books fairs over the past three years and hope to continue raising money to go to this great project."
While encyclopedias aren't on offer at the book fair, books of all other types are, says Jill.
"We have a great children's section as well as thousands of non-fiction and fiction books. We have people coming in looking for specific books or authors as well as people who come in just for a browse and to see what tempts them on the day."
Fiction books are all laid out alphabetically, she says, making it easy for people to quickly find a specific book or author they are looking for.
Any relevant Covid-19 requirements at the time will be in place, says Jill.
"We have a QR code for people to use as well as hand sanitiser available. The book fair runs for three days, over a total of 35 hours, meaning there is plenty of time for everyone to come without it ever getting to over 100 people in at a time."
Hāwera Genealogy Society book fair: St Joseph's Hall. Victoria St, Hāwera.
Thursday, October 1: 8.30am-7pm.
Friday, October 2: 8.30am-6pm
Saturday, October 3: 9am-2pm.
If you would like to donate books, please drop them off at the genealogy rooms on Union St (next to Metcalf Real Estate) or call Jill on 06 278 4292 or Donna Baker: 06 278 4344