Peggy Ainslie has an amazing pedigree as a Book Fair volunteer: she first got involved when she herself was a Grade 7 student at Rockcliffe Park Public School! She recalls being in charge of magazines, sorting donations in the same room where towers of boxes are stored today.
Peggy returned as a Book Fair volunteer in 2000 when her son and daughter were at RPPS. She dove right in the next year, serving as Co-chair alongside Cindy Parkanyi in 2001 and 2002. Peggy then took on the role of Chair in 2003 and 2004 and served again as Co-chair alongside Maggie Knaus in 2005.
Although Peggy’s children have long since graduated from RPPS, volunteering at Book Fair remains a family affair: Peggy’s mum Di and children Mickey and Emma all help out sorting, stocking, and pricing, and Emma has even taken charge of the Teen Fiction section. She comes by her expertise honestly: Peggy’s domain is hardcover fiction and she really knows her stuff! Shoppers can’t go wrong with a book from the Peggy’s Pick shelf.
Peggy continues to give of her time at Book Fair each year because, she says: “I really enjoy volunteering – it’s something concrete I can do and I like to know that I can contribute to the community in some way, if only for a short period of time. I’m pretty busy with work and family, so the short window for Book Fair makes it easy to plan for.”
Asked what she enjoys most about volunteering at Book Fair, Peggy says she loves the camaraderie: “It’s a great way to meet old friends and make new ones, all while working for a common goal.”
What do you think might surprise people about working at Book Fair?
I think the thing that people would be most surprised about is how addictive Book Fair volunteering can be. It’s really fun to come in and unpack boxes to see what treasures are hidden (and conversely the junk that we all read sometimes!). Also, I’ve made some really good friends working at Book Fair—it’s been a great way to get to know the community.