ALTON - The Hayner Public Library District hosted their second annual Local Author Book Fair on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023.

Executive Director Mary Cordes explained that the book fair invited approximately 25 local writers to sell their books and mingle with readers at the library’s Alton Square Mall location. From 12–3 p.m., shoppers explored new titles and chatted with authors about their writing, books and publishing process.

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“It’s going really, really well,” Cordes said during the event. “We even had shoppers while the authors were still setting up. They were like, ‘What are you selling?’ So it’s been really well-attended.”

This is Hayner’s second year sponsoring an author fair. Last year, they hosted the inaugural event at their downtown Alton location in October. They decided this year they would try holding the fair at the mall during the holiday season instead. Cordes said this change successfully brought more shoppers to the event.

“We thought we would try the mall at Christmas because it’s Christmas shopping,” she explained. “We were hoping people would come out and support local authors and [buy books for] Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.”

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Local author H. Lynn Beck spoke to several people about his six books and sold many copies during the three-hour fair. He noted that his books are gaining popularity, with one, “Henry and Anthony,” in talks to become a movie. He said that attending local fairs like Hayner’s is a great way to spread his name and work throughout the community.

In addition to connecting with the authors, attendees could talk with library staff about some of the programs and services offered through Hayner Public Library District. Kids enjoyed bubbles, crafts and a visit from the Hayner Summer Reading Program shark mascot. Cordes and other staff members shared information about Hayner’s Library of Things, online databases, museum displays and other services.

“We do a whole lot,” Cordes laughed.

For more information about Hayner Public Library District, including other upcoming events, visit their official website at

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