Club turns books into scholarships at South Hill Mall

Jason Kerr
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Members of the Prince Albert University Women’s Club are waist deep in books and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

The local club spent most of Thursday setting up for the first of their two annual spring used book sales at the South Hill Mall, with the proceeds going towards five $500 scholarships.

“Sometimes we look around and wonder if we’ve actually sold anything, but we have,” organizer Gail Syverson says with a chuckle.

Syverson estimates that thousands of books are donated every year, which leads to several hours of sorting and unpacking, but the task is a pleasant one.

“Sometimes at this point we feel overwhelmed, but if you get half a dozen people in here sorting and chatting it’s an enjoyable thing to do,” she says.

The donated books are not sold for a set price.  Instead, book buyers make a financial contribution in line with whatever they think the book is worth.  The club says some shoppers occasionally take several books for a dollar or two, but most people are more accommodating.

 “It evens out,” Syverson says.

Proceeds from the sale go towards local high school scholarships.  The club gives out five $500 scholarships every year to female students graduating from Prince Albert high schools.

They also fund a music festival scholarship, as well as the occasional grant for older female students.

“(The sale) more than covers the scholarships, and it wouldn’t without the generosity of our donors,” club member Ruth Griffiths says.

Griffiths and Syverson are quick to point out all the contributions that make the sale what it is.  Local groups like SHARE and The Optimist Club help store and transport the books, while the South Hill Mall provides space for the sale. 

They also need volunteers to help bring some organization to the chaos.

“People seem to enjoy coming out to help with the project,” Syverson says.  “It’s a concerted effort.”

However, the sale can’t happen without the books themselves, and that’s the donation that pleases Syverson the most.

“People are very generous,” she says.  “We do get a wonderful selection of books, even new books.  It’s a community thing.”

This year’s sale runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 25-26 and May 2-3 at the South Hill Mall.  The Prince Albert University Women’s Club has been running the event for more than 25 years.

Organizations: Prince Albert University, SHARE and The Optimist Club

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  • Ruth Griffiths
    April 25, 2014 - 09:16

    Thanks for publicizing our event. Perhaps the story and photo will encourage people to brave the weather and come out to the sale. There is plenty of time to browse.