When Patti Ferguson started looking for volunteer opportunities eight years ago, she naturally gravitated toward something literary.
“I love to read, and I love books,” she said.
So she considered it a perfect fit when she found Friends of the Carson City Library, which raises money to help support programs at the library.
She started by volunteering in the Browsers Corner Book Store, which, at that time, was housed in a 100-square-foot corner in the library.
When the store moved into its own building across the street, the size increased dramatically — and so did the workload.
“It just seemed like there was so much to do here,” Ferguson said. “I was spending so much time here, I was asked if I would be interested in overseeing the store.”
So Ferguson re-entered the workforce, after retiring from Douglas County in 1990, as the only paid employee for Friends.
The 83-year-old has no regrets over her decision to take over as store manager.
“None whatsoever,” she said. “I absolutely love this job. I have the greatest group of volunteers anyone could ask for.”
Not that there’s any time for regrets. She and the volunteers stay busy stocking shelves, unloading books, answering phones, organizing inventory, cleaning and waiting on customers.
Set up like a traditional bookstore, books are organized by category. Inventory — which includes puzzles and games — is constantly changing.
“There’s not a minute in the day where there’s not something to be done in this store,” Ferguson said. “I have a great sense of pride in how well this bookstore runs. And it’s not me who runs this store, it’s the volunteers and their hard work.”
But it isn’t all tedious.
“Everyone who works here loves what they’re doing and is glad to be here,” she said. “We have fun.”
Revenue from the bookstore is used to pay for programs at the Carson City Library, such as Summer Learning and National Library Week activities. Friends also supplies much of the library’s book and e-book collection and helps update software and new computers.
The organization also funded the Pedal Library, making it possible to bring books and other programming to community events.
Phyllis Patton, president of the Friends of the Carson City Library, credited Ferguson with the store’s success.
“Patti is the heart and soul of Browsers Corner Book Store,” she said.
Ferguson said it’s a team effort.
“The community has been literally overwhelming in their generosity of donating to us,” she said. “Without their donations, we wouldn’t be here.”
For information or to schedule a book drop-off, call 775-884-4043.