Heard on the Hill

OPM Rule Kills Library of Congress Charity Book Sale

Memo put an end to event that raised over $6K

The Madison Building of the Library of Congress won't have a book sale this year. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Library of Congress’ annual book sale has been canceled to comply with new rules set forth by the Office of Personnel Management.

Proceeds of the book sale, which dates back to the 1970s and was open to the general public, benefited the general fund of the Combined Federal Campaign. It occurred annually over three days in October and all the books were donated by employees at the library — they were not actually Library of Congress books.

But, while it was considered a “fundraising” event, it can no longer go on.

Kathleen M. McGettigan, acting director of OPM, put out a memo Aug. 3 about the Combined Federal Campaign, known as the CFC, which federal employees can contribute to for various national and international causes.

The memo announced that Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson is the 2017 chairman of the CFC as well as a new system of donating, effective Oct. 2.

As part of that, transactions will be centralized.

“Employees using the new CFC donor pledging system will recognize the CFC donation process as similar to the deduction process for their other federal benefits. The new system will continue to allow all employees to give via convenient payroll deduction, credit and debit cards, and eCheck options. Cash donations will not be accepted for CFC at events effective this year,” the memo read. 

It continued: “Instead special events will focus on increasing employee awareness of CFC charities and their mission, not cash fundraising (such as bake sales).”

The book sale committee announced they will not hold the annual fundraising event, as a result, and sent a notice to last year’s volunteers on Thursday.

The 2016 book sale, which ran from Oct. 26 to 28, raised $6432.32 for the CFC.

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