Thursday, October 08, 2009

September 30, 2009 Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the September 30, 2009 FLIF Meeting

1. Round table introductions!

Thanks to everyone for coming to the first FLIF meeting for Fall 2009! Sorry the introductions were a little brief, but hopefully we will get to know each better throughout the year.

2. Points to Highlight for Community Bookshelf Project

What’s it all about

The Community Bookshelf Project works with inner city agencies to provide free reading materials for Edmontonians who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. These individuals are may be embarrassed or unable to access other sources of reading materials. For many people, reading offers them an escape and a healthy way to use their time. In some cases, reading has helped people to kick addictions and make a new start.

Where do the books go

Books are distributed regularly distributed to a few select agencies and on an as-needed basis to other agencies.

We drop books at:
• The Bissell Centre – a daytime drop-in centre for inner city residents that also offers other services like showers, laundry facilities, food and help finding housing.
• Boyle Street Community Services – Boyle Street is also a daytime drop-in centre for inner city residents though it also houses a number of other services including the Learning Centre Literacy Association and Street Works. We are currently looking at new opportunities to work more closely with the Learning Centre on some innovative evening programs for Boyle Street clients (we’ll be looking at FLIF to help if this happens!).
• HIV Edmonton – an agency offering drop-in services for Edmontonians living with HIV. Approximately 60-70% of their clients are homeless.
• Operation Friendship – a multipurpose agency for seniors. Operation Friendship runs a daytime drop-in centre for inner city seniors and also operates 5 housing facilities for seniors in the inner city.

We help at events like:
• Homeless Connect – a one-day event for inner city residents held at the Shaw Conference Centre. Attendees can access a wide variety of services from legal help to getting IDs to having their teeth cleaned. The Community Bookshelf Project sets up a table with free books at each event. We usually bring about 20 boxes of books (donated by Edmonton Public Library) and have anywhere from 200-400 people drop by the table. If anyone is interested in dropping by to see what it’s all about, the next event is happening on Sunday, October 4 from 10-3pm. We’re happy to have any extra help! (If anyone is interested, let me know! People can come by for a whole shift or just an hour, it’s up to them)

Where do we get the books we donate

FLIF book drives, donations from local libraries (especially Edmonton Public Library) and personal donations.

Community Walk

We’re thinking of organizing a community walk for anyone interested in getting to better know Edmonton’s inner city. We’re looking at end of October – weather permitting.

3. Greater Edmonton Library Association (GELA) Women’s Prison Subcommittee

What’s it all about

Over the years FLIF has developed a strong partnership with GELA and many of our members have participated in their prison project. This initiative provides services to the women at the Edmonton Women’s Federal Correctional Institution. Over the summer GELA had participated in “vamping” up the library space, by weeding out books, bringing in new titles and giving the space a paint job. Other projects that go on throughout the year include

1. The Storybook Project-This is an opportunity for mother’s in the institution to record themselves reading stories so that they can send them to their children. The pilot project was completed over the summer using Audacity (Tara gave us some of her insights on how the project went). The women who participated were able to send the book and CD to their child. GELA hopes to continue with this project throughout the year.

2. Book Club-Several times a month (usually on the weekend) two GELA members go to the prison and read selected titles for the book club. To see a tentative schedule of what is coming up in the fall visit the GELA blog (). This project requires some what of a regular commitment as it includes the completion and discussion of specific book titles.

3. Prison Training Sessions- To volunteer at the prison there are two 3hour sessions that must be completed. We are still trying to coordinate times for the new training sessions. The first session is an orientation and tour of the prison and the second session is a safety orientation. Stay tuned for this fall’s schedule.

4. Streetworks

What’s it all about

Streetworks is a program offered by the Boyle Street Community Centre that focuses on harm reduction. There are counselors and nurses on staff that work closely with the community and they provide various services and offer education regarding safe intravenous drug use. The organization does have a small, but very significant collection of harm reduction literature. This is a very new partnership and over the summer two FLIF members did an assessment of the collection and developed a plan on how to get their library catalogued and put online so that their resources can be more efficiently and widely utilized. Although there had been little developments with the project we hope to get it launched over the next few months.

5. APIRG (Alberta Public Interest Research Group)

What it’s all about

The APIRG partnership is very new but we are hoping that it will flourish throughout the year. Located in HUB mall, APIRG is a campus based resource centre who’s main focus is community based research, education and social activism. We were approached by them in early September after they were impressed by our banned book collection that we displayed while we were tabling with CLA for Freedom to Read Week last February. APRIG has a small, but very unique collection of literature that they receive through donation and a small budget every year. We have offered to help them catalogue this material using the Edmonton Free Library and they are very excited in becoming more involved in 2010 Freedom to Read Week

6. Freedom to Read Week

What it’s all about

FLIF in collaboration with the CLA student chapter host’s Freedom to Read Week in February. We usually share a table in HUB mall and offer the campus community information on intellectual freedom and social responsibility, display recently banned or challenged books and provide walker’s by a brief history of the event. CLA and FLIF have in the past also made buttons and bookmarks that are sold at a very small fee (all proceeds go to GELA). More to come concerning this year’s events!

7. Benefit to Promote Canadian Literacy?

What it’s all about

We hope to build a new partnership with UBC’s Librarians Without Borders this New Year! We are open to fresh ideas on how to go about doing this, but so far we thought that a neat idea would be to have some sort of benefit event in Edmonton where the proceeds can go towards one of their current projects.

8. Call for 2010 Co-Chairs!

If you are interested in the co-chair position, please send one of us an email! Also let us know if you have any questions about the meeting or if you have any specific interest in any of the initiatives that we have discussed so far.
Brianna- berban @
Julie- jruel @
Madelaine- mvanderw @

OR flifblog @

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