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Volunteers boost Big Book Sale Down Under year round

7 years ago


Patrons roll up in the underground parking garage and drop their once-cherished books into the big blue bins.

They walk up to staffers behind the customer service desk and hand over used CDs and DVDs.

The Big Used Book Sale Down Under runs just three days every year. But the donations that fill those boxes that line the tables the last weekend of September come steadily, from October until a halt is called a few weeks beforehand for the final stages of planning.

And all those books and media have to be sorted into their proper places.

The action starts with the constant oversight and hard work by Nancy Perilli. She’s the LPL Page who quickly goes through donations to select and organize the books and media that stock the year-round sale on the shelves in our lobby. She puts as many as she can of the rest in boxes, labeled for easy identification and placement during the sale. Adult Mystery.  Biography. Romance. Politics. And on …

She’s helped by volunteer Dave Meisner, who came to us from Northside Baptist Church in Liverpool when the closed their shelves space. Dave picks out the rare books that will be sold in the specialty section, and suggests prices.

But there’s way more books and media to sort and box than Nancy and Dave can handle. For example, the 2016 sale featured more than 80,000 items counting up fiction, nonfiction, children’s books and media.

That’s where the volunteer book sorting days come in.

Northside Baptist Church schedules Saturday sessions in the Carman Community Room, with Community Connections and Lifestyle Coordinator Scott Leclair organizing congregation members and church visitors who thrive on community service.

On Jan. 21 this year, about 40 volunteers sorted about a dozen blue bins of books and media into 188  boxes. Their reward – in addition to the satisfaction of great, good work – was a tasty pizza lunch Scott provided for a break. Another session is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 18.

That one will mix in volunteers led by LPL Librarian Deanna McGregor as well. McGregor has run several weekday sorting sessions with volunteers this year, and plans more. Anybody who wishes to sign up to sort books can contact her at 315-457-0310 ext. 131.

What becomes of all those boxed books until the sale, you wonder? They go by van to space we rent in the basement of the Baldwinsville Library.

But that can be a blog story for another day …

The 2017 free admission sale days will be Saturday, Sept. 23, and Sunday, Sept. 24. Early bird paid admission will be Friday, Sept. 22.