Close to 3,000 books contributed to the Kiryat Shmona public library this summer in a show of support for its fight to stay open have not reached the library - due to bureaucratic wrangling.

Some of the volumes featured personal dedications from their authors. A portion of the donated books were sent to other institutions in the northern border town. Others are still in municipal storage facilities.

The donated books included 500 volumes with personal dedications contributed by prominent authors such as David Grossman, A.B. Yehoshua, Etgar Keret and Sami Michael. Hundreds of other volumes were donated by ordinary citizens who purchased the books during Hebrew Book Week.

The book donation drive in support of the financially strapped library was the initiative of Naftali Raz, a Yeruham teacher, tour guide and a book lover, who also enlisted the involvement of Masad, the Social Democratic Camp, an organization in which he is in involved.

Not only have books not yet reached the library, but NIS 21,000 in cash contributions have failed to be transferred yet, because Ehud Raz, the court-appointed receiver for the library and community center at the site, who is apparently unrelated to Naftali, has not come to terms with the Kiryat Shmona Municipality.

Naftali Raz, the Yeruham resident, said ego is involved in the failure of Ehud Raz to iron things out with city hall, adding that the library, which had been closed, reopened only about a month ago. He also said he would purchase 10 computers for the library with the funds that had been donated.