Record $24,269 raised at 2017 Concordia Used Book Fair
Generous book lovers flocked in record numbers to the Concordia Used Book Fair from October 1 to 3. They took home thousands of great fiction and non-fiction reads while supporting student scholarships, the Student Emergency and Food Fund and athletic financial awards.
Held in the atrium of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex, the annual tradition took in $24,269.
The new high was increase of nearly 50 per cent from the previous year’s total, which was itself 50 per cent higher than the 2015 edition.
“We’re thrilled with the results,” said Luke Quin, BA 07, lead volunteer of the event and fundraising writer in Advancement and Alumni Relations.
Quin attributes the growing success to a combination of factors. “We benefit from unbeatable volunteers, major logistical support from the university, a prime location and a generous community with a strong appetite for books!”
A collective effort
The Concordia Used Book Fair takes a lot of muscle to pull off. Various teams from the Office of the Vice-President, Services, including Distribution and Transportation Services, Hospitality Concordia and Security, play a critical role.
Student athletes from the Stingers men’s rugby team, led by head coach Craig Beemer, did much of the heavy lifting for the fair’s set-up and take-down.
About 50 other volunteers, including staff from the Concordia Library and Advancement and Alumni Relations and students recruited by the International Student’s Office, gave many hours of their time. Student volunteers can apply the experience to their co-curricular record.
Several retirees, including event co-founder Susan Hawke, BA 74, also provided valuable support.
In its 21 years, the Concordia Used Book Fair has raised more than $200,000 for students, while providing a new life for countless books. The event’s last two editions received a fresh identity thanks to efforts from Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins, BA 97, director of communications at Advancement and Alumni Relations, and his team.
“We changed the optics of the event from bargain finds to ‘Buy second-hand books to support first-rate students,’” says Desjardins. “It’s a form of social entrepreneurship. Buyers are encouraged by the cause just as much as the product.”
A student group — from the Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Art History — was on site all three days to sell art books, magazines and baked goods to raise funds towards the production of their spring publication, which will feature the best writing of budding art historians.
Nine boxes of books were passed on to Open Door Books, the Montreal chapter of Books to Prisoners. Roughly 10 boxes of books were given for free to passers-by.
Call for used books
The book fair would not be possible without major donations of books, many from professors, retirees and others from the university community and beyond. Concordia Stores have equally been a major supporter of the event by passing on valuable used textbooks.
With more than 7,000 books sold or given away at this year’s fair, Quin and his team now face the task of collecting for next year’s event.
“Book donations can be made year round, Monday to Friday at both the Sir George Williams and Loyola campuses,” says Quin. “Whether you’re a recent grad with textbooks you wish to pass on or an avid reader looking to downsize your collection, we will find a new home for your books.”