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Having Fun Gets It Done

Mimi Greenlee sat outside the massive, fan-cooled tents eating her lunch while around her hundreds of people buzzed about with stacks of books in their hands. Every year the scene gets bigger, and by now she's grown accustomed to the chaos of the annual Westport Library Summer Book Sale.

Which is a good thing, considering that for all five years of her involvement Greenlee has been the sale's chairperson. She's also overseen the smaller December and March sales. "I was president of the Friends of the Library, so it was just natural to swing over to this, I guess," said Greenlee.

As she sits in the sun, a volunteer runs over and starts fanning her with a small electric device. Greenlee laughs and tries to hide her embarrassment. She's there to help with the sale, not to get pampered and interviewed.

The volunteers, though, won't let her go unrecognized. Laura Heder holds the small fan while explaining how Greenlee recruits all her friends to work the sale. Wafaa Naggar comes by to say, "She's amazing and very well-organized. She took this sale and made it what it is."

Greenlee is quick to point out there are literally hundreds of people involved. There are organizers and organizations, and community volunteers. She said she couldn't make it happen without their help.

And make it happen, she has. When she came on five years ago the sale was in a tent next to the library entrance. Now it sprawls across Jesup Green. What's Greenlee's secret? "You have to have fun with it, otherwise it will never get done," she said, casting a friendly glare at Feder, who's still waiving the fan around her friend.

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