16 January, 2016

Golden Jubilee: UQ Alumni Book Fair

The UQ Alumni Book Fair® is a prime activity of Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Inc. and is conducted biennially, generally in late April. In recognition of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Alumni Friends, the 2017 Book Fair was a ‘Golden Jubilee’ event (details here). The book fair is held to raise funds for University students and projects (through the UQ Alumni Trust), and to encourage alumni and members of the general public to visit the UQ St Lucia campus.

Approximately one hundred and fifty thousand books are prepared for each Book Fair. Preparation consists of sorting, classifying, pricing and packing books, not all of which are accepted for sale. Books not selected for the Book Fair may be passed on to community organisations such as Anglicare and Red Cross, or in the case of outdated text books, sent overseas to third-world countries through organisations such as Rotary.

Work in preparation for each Biennial Book Fair commences almost immediately after the preceding Book Fair has concluded (so work now underway for the 2019 events). This work takes place within an area of the Alumni Centre which is referred to as Book House. All of this work is undertaken by regular groups of book lovers who meet on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and who are known as the Bookhouse Volunteers. The vast majority of Bookhouse Volunteers are retired academics, teachers and professionals. However, not all volunteers are graduates. A significant number are graduates of The University of Queensland, but there are also graduates from other universities who simply love books and volunteer.

The average volunteer contributes approximately 200 hours to Book House in a non-Book Fair year and around 275 hours in a Book Fair year. Overall it is estimated that between 18,000-20,000 hours are contributed over a two-year period by volunteers in the lead-up to and conduct of a Book Fair. This is a massive contribution from the community.

New volunteers are always welcome, please contact us if you’re interested.

Donations of Books to the UQ Alumni Book Fair

The UQ Alumni Book Fair will accept donations of all type of books, not just text books. Donations may be brought to the Alumni Centre which is University building 91C and is situated at 50 Walcott Street, on the very perimeter of the St Lucia campus. Walcott Street is the first street on the right-hand side once past the main roundabout on Sir Fred Schonell Drive. The Alumni Centre is on the left-hand side of Walcott Street, almost at the top of the hill and just down from the junction with Hood Street. Books may be left in the shed at the top right-hand side of the driveway at any time.

Donations of large quantities of books need to be received by arrangement. In some instances, arrangements may be made to collect books, particularly when the donor may be incapacitated. Please telephone the Book Fair team on 07 3365 2263 on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings to arrange this.

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photo credit: arkoptrix DSC_3053 via photopin (license)