Book drive raises funds for school libraries

The Times Colonist’s one-day book drive for school libraries and literacy is continuing through Sunday afternoon after a steady stream of donors dropped off books in the morning.

Donations are being collected at the Victoria Curling Club, 1952 Quadra St.

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Donor John McBride said he was happy to contribute to the newspaper’s ongoing efforts to support literacy.

“It’s just to continue what’s been done over the years,” he said “It’s a great cause.”

The donation drive is taking the place of the usual book drive and sale, and is being organized by the Times Colonist Literacy Society. There are hopes that the book sale, a fixture since 1998, will return next May.

In the meantime, books are being collected for sale to Russell Books — an initiative that last year raised $30,000.

Mark Taylor said he is one of about 100 volunteers ready to work until at least 3 p.m.

“Obviously we’re going to stick around to accommodate everyone,” he said. “The volunteers are incredible, amazing.

“Everyone’s happy, the weather’s co-operating with us and the generosity of Victoria’s second to none.”

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Earlier story

A book drive to raise funds for school libraries and literacy work takes place today at the Victoria Curling Club at 1952 Quadra St. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The book-dropoff, organized by the Times Colonist Literacy Society, takes the place of the usual book drive and sale because of pandemic safety concerns.

The scaled-down book event is being held because Vancouver Island school libraries and literacy projects have come to rely on money raised through this newspaper’s charity fundraiser.

Today’s drive is similar to the one held last year, with all donations sold to Russell Books, the largest used book store on Vancouver Island. Last year, the effort raised $30,000.

All volunteers at today’s dropoff have been vaccinated and will wear masks and gloves. They will work in bubbles to limit contact. Volunteers will direct traffic in and out of the Pembroke Street entrance (please don’t enter or leave via Caledonia). Please try to avoid blocking traffic; if possible, come by in the afternoon, because mornings are usually the busiest.

Be judicious in what you donate. Think quality, not quantity. Please, no truckloads of books. As usual, we cannot accept encyclopedias, old textbooks, magazines or Reader’s Digest books.

When you arrive, stay in your vehicles. Have the books in bags or boxes in the back where volunteers can grab them and transfer them to shopping carts. Those carts will go to Russell Books staff members, who will organize them onto pallets in the curling club. The carts will be cleaned repeatedly throughout the day.

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