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Spinetinglers repair their 10,000th book for Woodland Library

In an increasingly digital world, the printed word still plays a central role in many people’s lives.

The Woodland Public Library is an active, busy place and the books it collections take a physical beating, especially older historical books, children’s board books, and larger tomes popular with younger readers.

However, a group of people are constantly at work making sure that old books continue to live.

Known as the “Spinetinglers,” the group is full of dedicated, hardworking volunteers who get together to repair damaged library books.

They have saved thousands of books and thousands of dollars by keeping books in circulation, according to Greta Galindo, library services director. They have also mended and preserved many out-of-print books which the library is unable to replace.

The Spinetinglers are led Marcia Cary, a local artist, Galindo said.

“You wouldn’t think that fixing books would require creativity and ingenuity, but it does,” Cary explained. “We have brainstormed many a solution. And found damage on books that made us scratch our heads. Or had books that were assembled in ways that we couldn’t figure out. Until we did. We have found ways to fix torn pages and repaint covers. Some books we have even fixed three or four times.”

Cary said she joined the group in 1990, which was then led by library employee Rita Cocke, met once a month.

“I think we met for two hours, but my memory might be faulty,” Cary reported. “I worked with the group for a few years when I wasn’t teaching on Saturdays. I don’t know why the group disbanded, but we did. And every so often I’d say to Rita, ‘That was such a great thing. Let’s start again!’ At some point, the library called my bluff:  ‘Tag, you’re it!’”

Cary said she was pared with volunteer Marylin Thompson, “and that’s where the story gets fuzzy.”

“I think

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