Volunteer Spotlight – Jackie Snyder


We asked Book Fair volunteer Jackie Snyder to tell us about herself and her volunteer experience.


RPPS Book Fair’s memoir maven Jackie Snyder

I grew up in Montreal but have lived in Ottawa since the late 1970s. I worked on international trade issues for most of my career and retired from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (as it was called) almost 10 years ago. I don’t live in the Rockcliffe area, but have friends who do and some of their children went to RPPS.

When did you first volunteer for Book Fair?
It was about five years ago that I discovered Book Fair. I had a 1929 set of the Encylopedia Britannica and hoped to find a good home for it. I had heard that no one was buying encyclopedias anymore, but Michele Collum, who was Book Fair Chair at the time, told me she might know someone who would be interested. I brought the set to the gym and was blown away by all the books and busy volunteers. I was hooked! I’ve volunteered ever since.

What is your favourite thing about Book Fair?
Actually, two things: the people and the books.

I really enjoy the other volunteers. I look forward to the “reunion” each October when I walk into the gym at the start of the set-up phase and reconnect with them. Even when the work gets intense with piles of unsorted books everywhere, there is laughter around the gym. And I’ve received lots of good book recommendations from my fellow volunteers.

I’ve worked on the Biography, Autobiography and Memoirs section ever since I started volunteering at Book Fair. I have found books that I would probably never have known about if I hadn’t found them at Book Fair. I buy lots of books each year and find that I am reading more now than ever. Most of the books make their way back to Book Fair the next year to find a new home.

What do you like to read?
I am reading a lot of biographies and memoirs because of Book Fair. I also read a lot of fiction.

What would you like to tell people about Book Fair?
Book Fair is a wonderful community event and a great way to support RPPS and other schools. It’s like a huge treasure hunt. So many books and the prices are right!

Don’t forget to check out the Memoirs section. It’s got everything – more than just books about politicians looking back on their careers! There are adventure stories, vignettes of what life was like in other times and places, accounts of people facing challenges like war, and stories of sports heroes, film stars, business leaders, artists, writers and musicians – in addition to all those politicians!

Thank you, Jackie, for your hard work and enthusiasm!