A long-time library employee and Friends of the Library volunteer reached a major fundraising milestone this year.
Al Dollerschell, who sells donated books online for the organization Friends, has raised $100,000 from online book sales throughout his volunteer service.
When Dollerschell started selling books in 2004, he averaged just over $100 a month from book sales.
“The best sale was $899 for a book on investment strategies published in 1991,” Dollerschell said. Titled “Margin of Safety: Value and Risk Averse Investing Strategies for the Savvy Investor,” the book remains popular online.
“Copies are still selling for that amount, so check your attic,” Dollerschell added.
In addition to selling thousands of books over 17 years to hit the $100,000 milestone in March, Dollerschell is a part-time library cataloguer.
“Libraries are essential to the educational and recreational fabric of a democracy. Anything that can be done to raise money and promote libraries is worthwhile,” said Dollerschell, who retired from Goddard Library at Rochester Technical and Community College in 1997.
While COVID-19 kept Dollerschell from working at the Rochester Public Library during the year, he continued his volunteer work.
After a total of 61 years working in libraries, Dollerschell said he made the decision to retire completely.
Keri Ostby, manager of technical services at the Rochester library, said staff were sad to see him go, but grateful for his contributions.
“I’m not surprised it hit $100,000,” she said. “Al is incredibly reliable, knowledgeable and dedicated in his cataloging work, and his skills clearly transfer to his volunteer work.”