Book Fair Volunteering | Newberry

Book Fair Volunteering

Due to the current prohibition against large gatherings in Chicago, we will not be able to hold the 2020 Book Fair at the Newberry. We will miss seeing our volunteers and shoppers this July, but we need to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

The Newberry Book Fair, one of the largest used book fairs in the country, takes place each summer during the last weekend in July. More than 135,000 books, CDs, DVDs, albums, and collectibles are on display, with sales supporting the work of the Newberry Library. Each year hundreds of volunteers assist in a variety of tasks to help make the Book Fair a success.


Volunteer shifts take place in the days before, during, and after the sale. Tasks vary by shift and may include:

  • Pre-sale set-up
  • Greeting customers
  • Restocking shelves
  • Tallying prices
  • Ringing sales
  • Squirreling books for customers
  • Assisting customers

There are many shifts to choose from. Please note that some of these tasks may require heavy lifting, standing for extended periods of time, and moving around the sales floor. Other tasks involve sitting for extended periods of time. We prioritize accessibility accommodations.


If you have any questions about volunteering at the Book Fair, please contact Rebecca Haynes at (312) 255-3526 or

Did you know you can also support the Newberry by becoming a member?