AVA Library

Members only! We are working out the details on shipping and length of time that a member can use a requested book. The February Fare Box will have a survey for your input on these matters. In the meantime, you can view the listings by clicking on the link below.

Complete Listings – Updated June 29, 2023

Listings by State

Meet our Librarian, send an email and say “Hi”.

Sympathy for the Librarian – 

by Gary Knell #3536

“Please allow me to introduce myself…” (with apologies to the Rolling Stones). My name is Gary Knell and I am the AVA’s new Librarian. I grew up in the late 1950’s and early 60’s in the land of Boeing Aircraft Company, before Microsoft and Amazon, in rural Western Washington State. We lived on a small hobby farm with a garden, wood to cut, chickens and cows to feed and a “Route 1 Box” mailing address. My siblings and I had chores to do to earn an allowance which usually was devoted to buying penny candy at the corner grocery / feedstore.

One day, my father gave me some old worn U. S. Large Cents which had been his father’s. This sparked my interest in collecting coins; the “disease” had taken hold. Instead of just candy I now exchanged my funds for pennies in the grocer’s cash till. I would take these home and pull out dates and mintmarks to fill my tri fold Whitman album. Sometimes, I would get lucky and find some old Indian Head Cents. When I felt flush with cash, I would purchase some nickels and pull out the Buffalos to add to my “coin herd”. Then, I would return with the cents and nickels I no longer needed and exchange for more.

Fast forward to the mid 1960’s when the United States removed silver from the coinage. I now had a few neighborhood jobs with which to earn extra money and I started to ask the grocer for any silver dollars he might have. From time to time he got them and was thrilled to sell them to me at face value just to get them out of his till. I warned my father that silver coins would disappear and that he should buy rolls and set them aside for future appreciation. He dismissed my suggestion. “Gary, they made millions of them and they will NEVER be worth more than face value”. Eventually with the rising price of silver, and the grocer figuring it out, no more silver dollars found their way into my hands for face value. I never told dad “I told you so”. I graduated high school and went on to college. My coin collecting took a back seat to other interests and responsibilities.

Like me, I suspect many members of the AVA started out with the wheat back pennies, other coins, and then evolved into the world of exonumia. I came to the AVA later in life. My collecting interests had broadened to encompass merchant tokens, patriotic and Civil War tokens, and then I discovered the world of transportation tokens. I enjoy the diverse history and color that accompanies the exonumia journey. I find the researching and learning to be rewarding. But this story is not about me.

When I read that the AVA was looking for a Librarian I was intrigued and sought to learn more. Shortly after discussions with some of the Board members I was hooked. During the Thanksgiving holidays six heavy boxes arrived packed full of books and catalogs. My letter carrier weighs about 110 pounds dripping wet so she was happy I was home to help unload the packages. I warned her of what may be coming; books and packages arriving and departing. I managed to find a secure place in my garage workspace to store the collection on four long shelves. I went to work organizing and cataloging the books. There was no turning back now. I was thrilled to see the diverse collection. Not only books about transportation tokens but the other areas of exonumia such as merchant “good for” tokens, patriotic and Civil War tokens, and more are in our library.

Now, I think we are now ready to launch the project. A few ground rules follow: (Please save for future reference)

My contact information : Gary Knell, Librarian, 32446 2nd Pl. S., Federal Way, Washington 98003-5778
My e-mail address is: Librarian@vecturist.com