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Westmoreland's miniature Powell's Books -- Wallace Books -- is a true community resource in many ways

RITA A. LEONARD - Julie Wallace is the person behind Westmorelands renowned used-and-new book store for readers of all ages, Wallace Books. Here, she stands by some of her kids books. When neighbors led the successful effort to take over and continue the services of the former Parks Department's "Sellwood Community Center" – in addition to restoring all the classes and programs, a challenge was rebuilding resources for children, including the children's library.

One of those taking a proactive step to help with this is Julie Wallace, owner of Westmoreland's "Wallace Books", long considered a neighborhood treasure because of its vast inventory of old books as well as new ones – and those who have not been in the store, located in a former house and garage on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue a few blocks south of Bybee Boulevard, will be astounded to see just how many books are in there.

If this policy of shelving old books with new ones reminds you of Downtown Portland's famous Powell's Books, it's not an accident – Julie cut her teeth there, well before opening her own smaller version in Inner Southeast. Nor is her Westmoreland store new – this summer, Wallace Books celebrated its 22nd anniversary, serving cake and lemonade under a tent in front of the store.

As you might guess from a sales policy that recycles older books for new readers, Wallace also recycles other things, such as clients' used batteries, and has participated in recycling events at the Moreland Farmers Market in past years.

Since the re-named "Sellwood Community House" reopened in early September, Wallace has encouraged people to donate childrens' books to its after-school reading program.

And, when her clients come in to trade their used books for credit at her store – since not all books qualify, Wallace now recommends that those that she cannot accept for credit, especially books for children in second to fifth grade, may be donated to the Sellwood Community House.

Wallace Books is open seven days a week – 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., except until 6 on Sundays – at 7241 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue. And if you want to take kids' book donations to the Sellwood Community House, on the southwest corner of S.E. Spokane and 15th Street in Sellwood, you'll find they're open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.; 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday (closed Sunday). They point out that they are open on most of Portland Public Schools' "no school" days.

For more details and information on the Sellwood Community House, go online: www.sellwoodcommunityhouse.net


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