This time of year – only a few weeks from our annual Book Sale – we are getting donations of books and other materials at a fast and furious rate. As always, we want to thank each and every one of you who donates and helps make the book sale such a rousing success.
But this post is really about what happens to all those things you donate once you have left the library. There’s a lot of work that goes into sorting and storing those items!
When you bring in books, the staff and volunteers of Griffin Free look through your items to see if anything might fit into our collection. Due to our limited space, our regular purchases, and our requirements for book condition, only a small number are kept by the library. Most of the items we keep are children’s books (esp. new and popular picture books), DVDs, and popular series fiction.
Items pulled for review are examined by staff for damage and researched. We check reviews, publication dates, the popularity of the author’s other titles, and anything else that can help us decide whether or not to keep the item as part of the collection.
The items we don’t review are boxed – like items with like items. We typically separate children’s books, hardcover fiction, softcover fiction, nonfiction, media (CDs/DVDs/audiobooks), and other (we get everything from puzzles and games to computer software and peripherals). This requires a LOT of boxes, many of which are also generously donated by folks like you (and we can always use more!).
Once a box is packed full and marked, we store it in our shed behind the library. One half of the shed is dedicated only for book sale items. Usually, that side fills up in late spring or early summer, and we use space in the other two sheds until the weekend of the book sale itself. In June and July, we see our largest volume of donations, which usually forces us to occupy part of the front room of the library for sorting and storage until the schedule permits someone to haul the books to the shed.
Finally, on the Thursday before the book sale, a dedicated team of volunteers load up a few pickups full of boxes and take them to AVS for setup. All the boxes in good shape are kept for reuse, and all books left over at the end of the sale are donated to local organizations or given to an agency that distributes them via online sales and donations to needy organizations – keeping as many books as possible out of landfills.
So that’s a little of the behind the scenes for the Griffin Free Annual Book Sale. If you ever have any questions about the sale, or about your specific donations, please do not hesitate to ask.
Thanks again for all your contributions, and I hope to see you in a few weeks at AVS for the sale!