By Jessica Lovell
The Friends of the Guelph Public Library want more, more, more. More books, more volunteers and more customers to come out for their Giant Used Book Sale.
The fundraising sale is about a month away, and volunteers are already hard at work sorting the donations that have already come in, but they can still take more – lots more.
“We have already about a tractor-trailer worth of books donated and we’re hoping for two more (truckloads),” said sale co-ordinator Brenda Elliott.
With that many books coming in, volunteers will also be needed to prepare for the sale, make sure it runs smoothly and cleanup afterwards.
This year’s sale – the sixth one the Friends have hosted – takes place Oct. 19 to 21, and thousands of donated books have already been delivered to the sale site at the FastForms building at the corner of Imperial and Massey roads.
“We have sorted thousands already,” said Elliott, noting that it’s not just books that will be part of the sale. It’s also CDs, DVDs, puzzles, games, videos and LPs, all of which are donated by the community.
“They’re all donated by people in Guelph and area,” Elliott said, adding that the local sale has become known for the high quality of its donated material, as well as how well it is sorted and organized.
The Friends actually have to turn away some of the lesser quality items – generally things that are unlikely to sell, like textbooks, encyclopedia sets, magazines, Harlequins, Reader’s Digest publications and audio cassettes. “This is becoming one of the best, if not the best, used book sale in Ontario,” said Elliott.
The sale is so popular that people line up on opening day to get first dibs on the things they are looking for. The problem of how to deal with the early-bird crowds has prompted one of the few changes to the sale this year.
On Friday afternoon, those keeners will still have a chance to get first dibs, but they will be asked to pay a $10 “first of the line” entry fee. That will get them in the door from 4 to 5:30 p.m., before the rest of the sale patrons.
Then the sale will close down for half an hour, before opening again at 6 p.m. with free admission for the rest of the weekend.
The people who line up are “looking for very specific things, and they want to make sure they get exactly what they’re looking for,” said Elliott. She expects those people probably won’t begrudge the fee, since “the prices are fantastic,” she said.
There is one other way to get dibs on sale items, though: volunteer. When volunteers have finished their shift, they are free to shop and buy the things they want, even days before the sale.
“That’s a way to say thank you to the people who spend the time lifting and lugging and sorting,” Elliot said.
The Friends are still taking on volunteers to sort, organize, work the days of the sale and clean up afterward. Volunteer information is available on their website, www.friendsguelphlibrary.ca or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations for the sale are being accepted any time at the Fastforms vestibule, around the corner of the building on the left side of the parking lot. People with donations of more than 10 boxes are asked to call Val Morse at 226-979-1580 to make arrangements.
Guelph Public Library branches will also be accepting donations during their hours of operations. Donations will be accepted at all locations until Oct. 13.