The books that were headed for the recycling bin — and that once engrossed, delighted or puzzled readers, — have one last task to perform.
They're going to help raise money for developmentally disabled children served by Kennedy Krieger Institute serves, during the institute's annual Festival of Trees, to be held Friday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Nov. 27, at the Cow Palace at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium.
Members of the Baltimore County Public Library Staff Association have transformed the pages of those books into origami ornaments.
The tree decorated by library staffers and retired staffers, which they appropriately have dubbed "Bibliogreen," is one of 600 decorated, lighted 8-foot-high trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses that will be offered as prizes during a silent auction.
This is the third year the association decorated a tree for the festival. As usual, the library staffers spent two nights folding the book pages into three or four different shapes of origami ornaments.
On Sunday, Nov. 20, members of the association were busy putting the finishing touches on the tree in preparation for this week's unveiling.
"I can now say I can fold a paper origami box like nobody's business," said association president Greg MIller. "I don't have to think about it."
"It's such a good cause," said Towson Library retiree Janet Sanford. "Kennedy Krieger is so famous; we're happy to have them here. Staff is used to helping people. It's a disease; we just can't stop."
Bibliogreen will be just one of many festival highlights. A tradition since 1990, the Festival of Trees will also feature an elaborate train garden, hourly live family entertainment, a SantaLand theme park with crafts and carnival games for children and 100 gift boutiques to give visitors a kick-start on the holiday shopping season.
The prize for this year's raffle is Super Bowl XLVI tickets, airfare and hotel accommodations. Tickets can be purchased for $2 at the event or online at http://www.festivaloftrees.kennedykrieger.org.
The event will feature holiday story readings by Mix 106.5 radio's Jojo Girard and former Baltimore Raven Matt Stover, performances by "Milkshake," the children's rock band, as well as a variety of other acts.
Also taking the stage will be magicians, Irish dancers, puppeteers, martial artists, ballet dancers, school choirs and comedy hypnotist Matt Davis.
Other offerings include "reindeer" pony rides on Donner and Blitzen, a remote control racetrack, carousel rides and a visit with Santa Claus.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
General admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 5-12 and seniors. Children 4 and under are free.
For more details, call 443-923-7300 or go to http://www.festivaloftrees.kennedykrieger.org.