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The Founding College of the University of Toronto
shelf of books related to drama

Book Sale Volunteer

Open Book

We Need Your Help

**ATTENTION** In light of the situation with COVID-19, UC Books has suspended operations and will not be accepting donations and processing online book sales, and recruiting new volunteers until further notice. The health, safety and well-being of our volunteers, alumni and friends are very important to us. 

It is with much regret that we also announce the cancellation of the 2022 fall book sale. When conditions make it safe to do so, we look forward to once again collecting donations, running the bookshop and online sales, organizing the annual sale and especially seeing our loyal volunteers and customers.

This page will be updated when services resume. 

UC Books is well known for its massive annual October Book Sale at University College. But in fact, our operation runs year-round, preparing for the Book Sale, supplying the Book Shop at the College and selling valuable books online. We welcome a wide range of volunteers who can offer long-term or short-term, skilled or unskilled assistance. Whatever your interest and abilities, we have a role for you. We offer on-the-job training and supervision.

UC Books is not accepting any volunteer applications at this time. Please keep checking for updates. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Available Roles

Book Disposal Lead


  • Identify and liaise with charitable organizations that will accept book donations. UC Books donates books that are not appropriate for the annual sale or that are left over from the previous sale.
  • Document recycling (blue bin) practices for post-sale book disposal.
  • Help prepare boxes of books for charitable organizations.
  • Work with volunteers who deliver the boxes to charitable organizations.

Skills Required

  • Ability to liaise in a professional manner with charitable organizations.
  • Enjoy working with a team of other volunteers.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Good decision-making ability.

Pop-up Book Sales Lead


  • Work with CAC to identify locations, dates and themes of future pop-up sales and to create strategies for successful sales.
  • For each sale, acquire and organize the required materials (e.g. tables, chairs, credit/debit machine, cash, signs, office supplies) and liaise with the alumni office as required. Arrange the transfer of the boxes of books and materials to the pop-up sale site.
  • Liaise with the UC Books Chair and Volunteer Coordinator to ensure that sufficient volunteers are committed to assisting at the sale and for setup and takedown.
  • Liaise with the Social Media Coordinator for social media engagement before, during and after the sale.
  • The Pop-up Book Sales Lead must coordinate and be present at each pop-up sale and for all pre- and post-sale activities on the day of the sale.

Skills Required

  • Good organizational and communication skills.
  • Enjoy working with a team of other volunteers.
  • Willing to receive and follow directions.
  • Good decision-making ability.

Student Volunteers Lead


  • Work with UC Books Chair and Volunteer Coordinator to identify and implement strategies for increasing the number of student volunteers and retaining those volunteers.
  • Meet with prospective student volunteers and provide an orientation to the workroom and book sorting and pricing activities.
  • Introduce new student volunteers to other student and alumni volunteers in the workroom.
  • Ensure that new student volunteers are comfortable with their roles and are interested and engaged in their workroom assignments.

Skills Required

  • Good organizational and communication skills.
  • Enjoy working with a team of other student volunteers and alumni volunteers.
  • Willing to receive and follow directions.
  • Good decision-making ability.



  • Receive donations
  • Sort donations
  • Price books (if interested) - can work within a subject of interest to the volunteer
  • Occasionally pack books
  • Other tasks may be assigned depending on work, volume and flow, and time of year

Skills Required

  • Love of books
  • Enjoy working with a team of other volunteers
  • Willing to receive and follow directions in the workroom process

Fall Sale (CANCELLED FOR 2022)


  • Help with room setup – organize books within the various categories (when possible, volunteers can work within topic areas of their interest)
  • Price books as required during setup
  • Organize sections
  • During sale, work at the cash/checkout desks (training is provided for those choosing to work in this area)
  • Help customers, answer questions, supervise book rooms and keep tables tidy
  • After sale, help with takedown and packing books for distribution or disposal
  • Help out in the cloak room and with setting out snacks


  • Most roles do require some lifting, but accommodations are made for those with limitations
  • We try to match volunteers to an area of their preference, but flexibility is required to ensure all tasks are complete


  • Love of books and enjoyment in working with other volunteers and our customers
  • Flexible and willing to work at a multitude of tasks before, during and after the sale

Co-Chair for Sale of Treasured Books (Internet Sales)


  • As part of a team, lead oversight of communications from AbeBooks, our current agent for listing collectible books
  • Supervise oversight of emails, which are sporadic but need responses every two to three days
  • Fill orders promptly - find book in the workroom, package and take for mailing


  • Interest in books, particularly collectible books
  • Enjoy working with a team of book-loving volunteers
  • Able to build and lead a small team to fulfill responsibilities for sale of collectible and treasured books, predominantly done through AbeBooks
  • Interest in promoting other ideas related to our large inventory of collectible and valuable books

Volunteer lead for refreshments


  • Assist with recruiting volunteers to work on the refreshments team.
  • Plan the lunch and snack requirements 2–3 weeks before the sale.
  • Coordinate the setup for refreshments in the volunteer room on the day before the sale (TBD) and ensure that cleanup is complete on day after the sale (TBD).
  • Direct volunteers to purchase the provisions, including juice boxes; bread and ingredients to make sandwiches (e.g. eggs for egg salad); crackers and cheese; vegetables and fruit for snack trays; dip for vegetables; dessert items (e.g. cookies, brownies, loaves, tarts); and potato chips and similar snack items.
  • Direct volunteers to prepare vegetable and fruit snack trays; cube cheese; and prepare sandwiches and cut in quarters. Sandwiches should be made fresh for each of the first 3 days of the sale. Store perishable items in the refrigerator in the UC volunteer room kitchen.
  • Direct volunteers to transport all items to the volunteer room at UC. Non-perishable items, such as cookies and chips, can be transported on the first day of the sale or the evening before, and stored in the volunteer room.


  • Love of books and enjoyment in working with other volunteers and our customers
  • Able to lead a team of volunteers to plan, purchase, prepare and transport lunch and snack refreshments for UC Book Sale volunteers.
  • Good planning and budgeting skills, ensuring that provisions are purchased at Costco or at other reasonably priced outlets (all monies spent on provisions are reimbursed by UC Books).
  • Willing to receive and follow directions from the sale manager and volunteer coordinator.

Volunteer room monitor


  • On the final day of setup (TBD), prepare the volunteer room (e.g. set out sign-in sheets, name tags, red UC Books aprons). Work with the sale manager and volunteer refreshments lead to ensure that the room is set up properly for the volunteers.
  • For each day of the UC Book Sale, the volunteer room monitor will be required to be onsite in the volunteer room. With the exception of break periods, the shift runs for the duration of the sale each day.
  • Report for duty 15 minutes before the sale opens each day.
  • Greet volunteers as they arrive and ensure that all volunteers: sign in for their shift before reporting to the library each day; sign a policy and insurance waiver form (volunteers need only sign one form for the duration of the sale); wear a red UC books apron and name tag; and sign out when their shift is complete.
  • Keep the room in order and ensure that all valuables are stored in locked cupboards. A key to the locked cupboards will be provided to the volunteer room monitor.
  • If the room must be left unoccupied for any reason, ensure that the door to the volunteer room is locked. A key to the door of the volunteer room will be provided to the volunteer room monitor.
  • Throughout the day, put out snack and lunch items at appropriate times. Refresh empty platters, ensure that clean dishes and cutlery are available, and tidy the kitchen and volunteer room as necessary.


  • Love of books and enjoyment in working with other volunteers and our customers.
  • Willing to receive and follow directions from the sale manager and volunteer coordinator.