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Books for International Goodwill

For over 15 years, Books for International Goodwill (B.I.G.) has successfully recycled used books for productive use by those who need books for schools and libraries to improve literacy in developing communities around the world. B.I.G. is a project begun by the Parole Rotary Club of Annapolis and is now an independent non-profit entity. It's motto is "Spreading Literacy by Keeping Books Alive".

We'll be sorting books by age level,  and will pack them for shipment to overseas locations.  B.I.G. has shipped millions of books to Africa, Eastern Europe, and other areas of the world.


If there's sufficient interest,  we may go to lunch afterwards at a nearby restaurant.


Directions and general info:

Directions to the warehouse can be found at

Most of us will be at the back of the warehouse, packing pallets of books for shipping.  Ask for "Mitch" when you arrive.

You'll want to wear some old clothes, since they might get a little dirty.  You may also want to bring a pair of
work gloves.




Note: You’ll be handling cardboard, heavy textbooks, pallets and tape applicators. Bring gloves to save protect your hands! BIG does have a few pair of light cotton gloves if you forget.

Sort books into categories (e.g. high school, middle school, elementary).  Signs will be on display for the various categories.

Packing: Take a new box and tape the bottom securely (3 or 4 strips lengthwise). If there are several/many of the same book, put them all in the same carton (two different ways to put books into box).

THE BOX MUST BE COMPLETELY FULL, LEVEL WITH THE TOP OF THE BOX. If the box isn’t full, it will collapse when other boxes are put on top of it, making loading difficult and stacking of pallets impossible.  If necessary, use smaller paperbacks to completely fill a box.  A box that is slightly overfilled is preferable to an under filled box.

Label the Completed Carton. Write contents on all cartons. Don't abbreviate. And if there is primarily one subject in the carton, write that on the box as well. It helps a lot on the receiver’s end in sorting.  Apply at least one Yellow B.I.G. label on each box.

Stacking the pallets. Three levels of boxes are stored on each pallet.  Each level is comprised of eight boxes.  Boxes should be stacked in a bricklayer pattern to distribute the weight and prevent boxes from being crushed.

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  • Mitch

    I might be able to invite a couple of people to a sushi Meetup in Crofton that's happening at 12:30pm (conveniently, the commute time between the warehouse and Crofton is probably less than 30 minutes).

    If anyone's interested let me know by this afternoon (feel free to post here), and I'll check with the organizer for the sushi group.

    May 23, 2014

  • Carol

    Jumping in and out of big boxes like Mitch and hurt myself. I'm just bruised up a bit and both hands are sure. So, I am passing this month on B.I.G. I'm sticking to "my story" of how I hurt myself. See everyone next month.

    May 22, 2014

    • Mitch

      Thanks for the update, Carol. I don't think there will be any box jumping required on Saturday, but hope you're recovering well regardless.

      May 22, 2014

  • Mitch

    Looks like we've got a lot of volunteers for a holiday weekend! However, please remember to update your RSVP if your plans have changed, in order to give us a good idea how many volunteers to expect on Saturday.

    May 21, 2014

  • Ken G

    Another work weekend ...If it changes I will sign back up.

    May 20, 2014

  • Mitch

    Looks like this event is just about full, so there will probably be a waiting list soon.

    If your plans change and you can't make it on Sat morning, please remember to update your RSVP as soon as possible (no later than Thurs) in order to give enough time to notify anyone on the waiting list who's being moved up to the volunteer list.

    May 19, 2014

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