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Coupon exchange a huge success

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:39 pm    Post subject: Coupon exchange a huge success
From Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:00 am to Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:59 am (included)
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Coupon exchange a huge success

(by Tom Boud - June 05, 2009)

This is one library initiative that is right on the money for stretching everyone’s dollars these days.
The Little Falls Library is having much success with its shopping coupon exchange basket, near the circulation desk. The public can sift through to choose needed ones as well as add in those they clip out and do not need. The library started the coupon basket in late March, after local resident Arnold Korotkin suggested the idea to Pat Pelak, Little Falls library director.
Pelak said the recession makes it a good time for having a coupon basket.
“I got an e-mail from a patron suggesting it,” she said, referring to Korotkin. “We had done it many years ago, and felt it was a good time to resurrect it. It’s a very simple service, which could do a lot of good.”
Linda Belen — circulation clerk — said visitors have been stopping by the bin nearly every day of the library’s operation.
“Once they saw we had a basket going, they started bring in coupons from their home paper. We’ve had a lot of results. It’s been very positive. They come back week after week. Some people come in especially for that,” she said, about the basket.
She added the coupon container can be prove fruitful, especially since stores issue double or triple value discount vouchers on various items.
Belen said the busiest basket business time is the early week, when weekend coupons are added.
“They know we put them in on Monday after the Sunday paper.”
Pelak said it is easy for residents to take advantage of the library’s offering as the library is open 49 hours a week during the summer. And the coupon basket is not the only library draw, adding that the book checkout and computer use has markedly increased as the down economy continues.
In an e-mail, Korotkin said the coupon basket is not a new concept. Korotkin said he has implemented the idea several times over the years as a community organizer. He said the first instance was in 1968 during an undergraduate community internship in a low income socio-economic community.
Korotkin said he is glad his suggestion was put into practice locally.
“During the current economic recession, it’s good to know that the Little Falls Public Library is responsive to community needs.” As proof, Korotkin cited the institution’s earlier year cans for fines program. He also mentioned the library’s continually available help with online unemployment application and job searching.
Robert Lindsley – Baumann Library director – said Woodland Park’s book hub may follow the Little Falls library’s example.
“I’ll talk to the people, and maybe get a coupon basket. We actually did that several years ago, but it didn’t go over really well.”
Lindsley said today’s fiscal hard times makes it worthwhile to try again.
“Maybe we should consider it again. Anything to help people out.”
The Totowa Library reportedly has a coupon box, but not on an exchange basis like the Little Falls Library.
Anyone wishing further information about the Little Falls Library can call 973-256-2784
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