Pelham Library receives large donation of outdoors books

Published 12:27 pm Thursday, April 7, 2022

By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

PELHAM – The Pelham Public Library recently received a large donation of books adding to their outdoors collection.

The donors are Pelham residents who wish to remain anonymous, but their donation included close to 100 books ranging in topics from the Appalachian Trail to hiking tips and other outdoors related material.

“It’s such a great example of someone that has a passion for something, and rather than just getting rid of all these great books, she donated them to the library so the community at large can read those books and maybe inspire someone to get out and start walking,” said David Smith, head of the library’s business outreach team.

Mary Campbell, the library’s director, said while they have received large donations of books in the past, it’s rare to have such a large donation of a specific theme such as the outdoors.

“It’s never been a collection so much,” she said. “People will buy a lot of fiction and donate a lot of fiction, but this was a situation where it was a very well curated collection that worked perfectly and could help serve the community.”

The donation also included several maps, which Smith said will make a great starting point for people interested in seeing how trails have changed over time.

“Of course, you know, maps age,” Smith said. “So we would have to tell people, ‘You might want to use this as a spring board.’”

“Especially with how different trails change and landscapes morph over time,” Campbell said. “Everything is focused on the outdoors, like we have the city’s new logo ‘A Path Apart’ and it’s a path forward. The city is really moving into that area, so this fit so perfectly with our rebranding and where we are physically in the community so close to Oak Mountain.”

Smith said residents of Pelham are in a particularly advantageous area if they’re interested in hiking or other outdoors activities, and this book collection will be a tremendous asset to those who want to gather more information.

“I think it’s important because Pelham is right here beside the largest state park and with that new expansion and people getting outdoors again, rediscovering their love of outdoors because of the pandemic, I think we definitely need to have a section like this,” he said.

“Oak Mountain is a really great training ground,” Campbell said. “We see people all the time hiking up there getting ready for trips out west or wherever they might be going, and you can find some steep hills that can get you ready for that type of terrain. It’s just a great place to enjoy the outdoors.”