Metro/file photo Calgary’s current Central Library.

Thousands of books may have been lost to flood waters but the Calgary Public Library is hoping community generosity will help keep their collection afloat.

“20,000 is, we think, about the amount we lost in books, DVDs and CDs,” said Paul McIntyre Royston, Calgary Public Library Foundation president and CEO.

Keeping literature in mind, the foundation is putting on a book drive titled 20,000 Books Under the Bow — a play on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

McIntyre Royston said they hope to have Calgarians donate 20,000 gently-used books, DVDs and CDs, which will then be sold on sites like Amazon to raise money to purchase new books.

“We’ve probably already passed about 5,000 (donated items) already,” he said. “Typically we’ll earn as low as $1 a book, but it could be as much as $5 a book.”

McIntyre Royston explained it’s better to buy new books because they can purchase the items that are in demand from Calgary library cardholders. The estimated cost of the destroyed items is around $200,000.

Donations can be dropped off at any Calgary Public Library location, except the Central Library, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on July 27.

T-shirts with the phrase 20,000 Books Under the Bow can also be purchased at 20000books.ca, with proceeds going towards the library flood relief fund.

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