Library boosters and student leaders partner for book sale fundraiser

VCU Libraries' inaugural spring book sale with new student leaders as partners was a success.

VCU Libraries’ inaugural spring book sale with new student leaders as partners was a success.

For many years, the Friends of VCU Libraries has held an annual book sale to raise funds to support library programs. The annual fall sale was not held in 2014 and 2015 during construction of the new Cabell Library.

During the hiatus, the development office and the book sale committee evaluated the sale and decided that it, like the building itself, was due for a makeover.

While the book sale has been a steady source of income for Friends of VCU Libraries programming, it also requires an investment of hundreds of hours of staff and volunteer time to organize and manage the sale. “Nationwide, lots of libraries hold book sales. Generally, as a fundraising tool, they’re not terribly efficient. They’re hard, dusty work and they demand lots of staff and volunteer time,” said Kelly Gotschalk, director of development and major gifts for VCU Libraries.

“Their greatest value is in their community service and community engagement aspects. People rally around the sale and like to help. For book lovers, it’s the ultimate reuse-recycle shopping experience and you can buy wonderful books for very little money.”

How could VCU’s book sale move to the next level in its community service and be better managed in the future? The answer Gotschalk arrived at: Tap into VCU’s deep student talent pool.

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