Briarcliff Girl Scout Organizes Book Sale

Check out the Briarcliff Manor Public Library Book Fair today through Sunday.

Name, Age: Caroline Pennacchio, 14


Accomplishment: Collecting more than 5,000 book donations and organizing a book sale for the .

Key to Awesomeness: The first part of Caroline Pennacchio's first day as a high school student was fairly typical—she navigated the halls of the BHS for the first time with her peers before heading to cross country practice.

But Pennacchio spent the evening putting the finishing touches on the culmination of more than 200 hours of volunteer work—a book sale at the Briarcliff Manor Public Library.

"I can't believe it's happening," she said on Thursday evening, as the book sale kicked off with a special preview sale for volunteers involved in the project.

Pennacchio became a girl scout when she was in kindergarten, and after taking a two-year hiatus, re-joined in fifth grade.

"I really missed it and I wanted to do my bronze award, which is the lowest of the three awards," she explained.

Since then, her troop disbanded and she decided to keep going as a Juliette—or independent—scout.

Pennacchio, a book lover who "never met a book she didn't like," knew she wanted her Silver and Gold Girl Scout undertakings to also involve the local library.

"I have loved to read since I was little," she said.

So she hought she would start with a book donation drive to benefit the Briarcliff Manor Public Library.

"No library can keep up with the demand for books because there are so many different books people want to read," she said. "Then I was going to donate the rest of the books they didn't need to different places like hospitals and children's centers, but there were so many we just kind of decided to have a book sale."

Library Director Melinda Greenblatt said the library hasn't hosted a book sale in years, and even after taking in "hundreds" of Pennacchio's donated books, there were plenty left over.

With the help of virtually every village department, administrators, staffers and volunteers rallied over the summer to store, organize and set up the more than 5,000 items for this weekend's sale—"way more books than I originally thought we would," said Pennacchio.

The Girl Scout enlisted the help of more than 50 volunteers for the undertaking, who have helped with everything from the collection to the set up for the sale. A combination of high school students looking for community service credit and family friends of the Pennacchios will also be working the sale in shifts all weekend long.

Friends of the Briarcliff Manor Public Library and the staff itself will also be pitching in.

"I am volunteering tomorrow night," Greenblatt said.

The books, DVDs and more at the sale range from cooking to parenting to children's and teen's genres.

"There are a ton of adult books," added Marie Pennacchio, Caroline's mother.

Greenblatt said the library helped Caroline price the books for the sale—they will range from just 50 cents (for children's paperbacks) to the $2 to $5 range, depending on the category (art books will likely carry the highest price tag).

"I hope everyone comes and buys books and we can use the money that we raise to actually new books for the collection," said Pennacchio. "The rest of them we will donate."

Greenblatt said Pennacchio's organizational and management skills have been apparent throughout the duration of the collection and sale—a several month process.

"We are so glad she stepped up to the plate," she said.

 will be held today from 12 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m.

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