Processing donations — sorting, placing, pricing, packing and storing — require a considerable amount of effort by a large number of volunteers throughout the year.
Sorting requires a certain level of knowledge of books that is acquired by experience, dedication, and a willingness to learn. The physical process requires a degree of dexterity and fitness. Sorters need to be detail oriented.
Sorters examine each donated volume to determine:
Physical effort is required in moving carts loaded with books around the work area, and delivering books to the appropriate station.
Certain books, largely fiction, can be priced using a simple formula provided by the Friends. Other subjects require a more subjective assessment and pricing within more general guidelines which are provided. A degree of knowledge of the subject area is beneficial.
Packing books for storage is extremely important for the safety of the books and for the Friends’ staff and volunteers and contributes significantly in the economic use of limited storage space. Packing requires a degree of physical work, but not the handling of full and potentially heavy boxes.
Volunteers may, if they are able, transfer boxes of priced items to carts. The delivery to storage areas and the physical stacking of boxes is undertaken by paid staff.