On September 13, 22 members and potential members met for lunch in the State Department cafeteria followed by a tour of the Art & BookFair (ABF) facilities. It was so nice getting to know each other a little better. A very nice, tall young officer agreed to take our picture at the end of lunch.
We went to the AAFSW BookStore (soon to be the Volunteer Room for ABF) to show all the categories of books and to see shoppers. Volunteers sort the general categories of fiction or nonfiction into the more than 45 categories plus languages. Two of our ladies even made a quick purchase.
Next we peeked into an Art Corner work space. It is small, but we saw some of the wonderful items donated to the Art Corner. Katarina, Art Corner Co-Chair, explained what their volunteers do. Have you collected wonderful things on your overseas assignments? You may know the approximate value of items from one or more countries. Please volunteer and share your knowledge with Art Corner!
Walking to the other side of the building, we saw where the processing of books takes place – in the BookRoom office! All 22 of us filed into our long office with sorting table and grocery carts. We didn’t have lots of room because there were so many carts full of book donations. This is where the gross sorting and all the book pricing takes place. Carts labeled either “fiction” or “nonfiction” are filled when books are dusted and priced. If a book is not in good shape, it is recycled.
We need lots of members all year long to volunteer some time to sort, price, shelve, and sell in the BookRoom and BookStore. If you are interested, we will train you. We have some members who volunteer once a week; some members are here only part of the year so they volunteer then; others come once every two to three weeks; and a few dedicated members volunteer 2-3 times per week.
Next we went upstairs to see the main Art Corner room. Katarina spoke a little bit about how items are repaired, cleaned, priced and boxed for ABF. Perhaps this is what you might enjoy.
Our final tour destination was the Exhibition Hall where the ABF takes place. The ABF tent was scheduled to go up on September 24 right outside the Hall.
If you haven’t signed up but would like to do so, contact the AAFSW office (703-820-5420 or firstname.lastname@example.org). We need to know you are coming. The deadline has passed for getting the special ABF badge, but you can come in with the public on weekends and we can escort you in during the week for a shift or two.
Join the fun!
Art & BookFair Chair