Porterville residents donate thousands of books after devastating library fire

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the city of Porterville looks to the future, residents are making sure the library is a part of it.

Over the last week, community members have rallied together to donate thousands of books to replace those that burned in the fire.

"Some people will bring in a handful of books, some people will bring in a box full and some will bring a truckload," says library supervisor Anthony Arellano.

The city's only library was burned down about a week ago, leaving residents without one of its most valuable resources.

"I have lived in this town all my life and losing the library hurts," says Porterville resident Michael McQueen.

The drop-off location is next to Centennial Plaza.

Library staff estimate they collect anywhere from a few hundred to more than a thousand books every day.

Michael McQueen is donating a large box of his favorite books.

"There is some Stephen King, there is a complete set of the Dark Tower series, there are some baseball books, there's some drag racing books," he says.

He hopes others will share the same joy reading them as he did.

"If I can help out any way I can, that's good," he says.

As library staff and volunteers receive books, they sort them and put them into boxes for storage.

At the moment, books can't be checked out, but the city, who has jurisdiction over the library, is working towards changing that in the future.

"Everybody has huge amounts of books at home, which they haven't really looked at in a long time and it feels good to see someone get some good out of it," says Porterville resident Dennis Berberea.

Anyone in Porterville wanting to check out books can still do so at one of the neighboring San Joaquin Valley Library branches.
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