Monday, September 06, 2010

Welcome Back Proto-Librarians!

As we get ready to begin a new semester at the University of Alberta's School of Library and Information Studies, we would like to welcome back returning students and introduce ourselves to the new cohort joining SLIS this year.

New York Public Library archives

We have a bunch of exciting projects planned for the upcoming year and are looking to recruit members who are interested in discussing issues of intellectual freedom, doing community outreach regarding access to information and promoting the school to the wider community. We would like to have a meeting early in September to introduce ourselves in person and describe some of the events and project we have planned for the Fall semester.

We will be looking for volunteers to help out with several of our continuing projects that are an excellent opportunity to get involved in the library community in Edmonton and learn more about intellectual freedom and access to information in our city. Briefly, a few of our major initiatives are:

Community Bookshelf:
This is a project that FLIF has recently assumed full responsibility for, but was initiated by and is supported by GELA (Greater Edmonton Library Association). FLIF volunteers pick up books generously donated by local libraries, book drives, and personal donors. Special thanks goes to Edmonton Public Library, Stony Plain Public Library, Leduc Public Library and the Greater Edmonton Library Association’s Women’s Prison subcommittee. FLIF members sort, package and deliver books to several organizations in Edmonton including the Bissel Centre, Boyle Street Mission, HIV Edmonton and Operation Friendship. We need volunteers to help load books at the main library and unload them on campus as well as sor books based on requests from our member organizations and deliver boxes of books to the organizations a few times each semester.
We would like to have a big book sorting party in SLIS to organize some deliveries of donations that are currently being stored on campus. This would be a great opportunity to find out more about FLIF and meet other students interested in volunteering and supporting access to information in our community. Please leave us a comment here or send an email to flifblog @ if you are interested in participating.

Homeless Connect:
Homeless Connect is a bi-annual event that takes place at Shaw Conference Centre in downtown Edmonton in May and October each year.
Homeless Connect Edmonton is a broad-based community-inspired initiative, providing free appropriate services to homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless, on one day and at one location.
Its mission is to provide services that help open doors out of homelessness, build lasting partnerships , raise public awareness of homelessness in the community, and provide a vehicle for community involvement in addressing the issue of homelessness.
Services include mental health assessments, library services, foot care, haircuts, immunizations, birth control, pre-natal support, laundry, housing information, employment and training services and much more.
Homeless Connect
The next event will take place on Sunday October 17th, 2010 and we are looking for volunteers for one to two hour shifts throughout the day. Our role at this event is to set up a table of free books donated by EPL and to keep it stocked and organized throughout the day. This is one of our largest events during the year and is a great opportunity to reach out to the community and learn about barriers to information and services that many Edmonton citizens face. 
If you would like to volunteer for this event which runs from 10 am (set up starts at 9am) until 3pm on Sunday October 17th please let us know by leaving a comment here or sending an email to flifblog @

Freedom to Read Week:
Freedom to Read Week isn't until March of 2011, but it is one of the biggest events in the FLIF calendar. We set up a display of banned and challenged materials in HUB, raise funds for the GELA prison projects by selling awesome buttons, use Book Crossing to drop banned and challenged books throughout the city along with information on freedom of information, and participate in EPL events like the Banned Book Cafe. This year we would like to expand our Freedom to Read Week events and are open to suggestions from the FLIF and SLIS community. 
We always need lots of volunteers for Freedom to Read Week to make buttons, man the banned books table, represent SLIS and FLIF at EPL events and generally spread the word about how important access to information and Freedom to Read is. Mark February 20th - 26th, 2011 on your calendar now! 

FLIF is also involved with the GELA Edmonton Institution For Women library including inmate book clubs and a storybook project where women can record themselves reading aloud, and their recording is sent to their children. Additionally we hope to get involved with some new projects including working with APIRG on a library of banned and challenged books as well as getting more involved with the library at the Boyle Street Mission.
We are always open to suggestions for events or new projects that fit FLIF's mandate of supporting access to information and intellectual freedom.
If you would like to attend a FLIF meeting or get involved this year please leave a comment on this post or send us an email at flifblog @
We will try to pick a time that works for everyone to get together and start planning of an exciting year. 

Your FLIF co-chairs, 
Shannon & Jorden

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