Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Welcome Back!

The summer flew by and it is already September and FLIF is getting back in action. Thanks to everyone who came out to the first meeting of the year today at noon, if you missed it but would like to be involved keep watching the blog as we post upcoming events.

Today we discussed a few of our upcoming projects including the 7th Homeless Connect event happening at the Shaw Conference Centre in downtown Edmonton on October 16th from 10-3. Homeless Connect is a twice-yearly event where organizations in Edmonton provide services for the homeless community in the city. People can come and see a dentist, get a haircut, career, tax, and debt counseling, and free books from us! We collect donated books from EPL, sort them, and distribute them to the attendees at this event. Huge thanks to everyone who volunteered to help out with Homeless Connect at the meeting; it is always a big event for FLIF and a lot of fun for the volunteers. If you weren't able to sign up at the meeting but would like to participate please email us at flifblog@gmail.com ASAP with your availability on Oct 16th and the size of volunteer t-shirt you would like.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday October 4th at noon in Henderson Hall. At this meeting we will be setting up a challenge for FLIF participants in anticipation of Homeless Connect. Every year we get requests for particular authors or types of books that we always seem to run out of. This year we want to see who can collect the most books from our list of 'Most-wanted' titles with a limited budget and a one week deadline. Everyone is encouraged to form teams and beg, buy (but don't steal!) as many books as they can, but only books from the requested list (we have enough harlequins, thanks!) The team with the largest number of items at the meeting the following week (Oct 11th, noon in Henderson Hall) will win an (as yet to be determined) prize. We will distribute your book budgets in cash and most wanted lists at the meeting on Oct 4th. If you can't make the meeting let us know via email and we can arrange to get the money and list to you at a different time.

A couple of volunteers are needed to run a Community Bookshelf drop off of boxes of donated books at a few non-profits and shelters in downtown Edmonton during the day on Friday Sept 23rd. This should only take an hour or two (depending on traffic). If you are interested and free let us know at flifblog@gmail.com or in the comments and we can organize drivers. You don't need a car to participate. This is one of the ongoing projects for FLIF that we run throughout the year in partnership with Edmonton Public Libraries who donates all of our materials, and GELA (Greater Edmonton Library Association).

We are also looking for people interested in forming a new board of directors for FLIF in a variety of capacities - please get in touch if you are interested in participating or want more information. You do not need any prior experience; we are looking for people with a passion for intellectual freedom and the desire to volunteer your time. We are a very open organization so even if you are worried about time commitment we will work to make sure everyone who wants to be involved can be.

Finally we are always looking for people to contribute to the FLIF blog - feel free to forward announcements or articles to flifblog@gmail.com or let us if you would like to write some posts and we can give you access to log in and start publishing! It is a great way to get involved, an low-stress way to contribute some volunteer hours at your leisure, and looks GREAT on a CV - FLIF Blogmaster!

Huge thanks again to everyone who came to the meeting, the next important dates are:

Fri Sept 23rd - Community Bookshelf dropoff
Tues Oct 4th - most-wanted book challenge meeting at noon in Henderson Hall
Tues Oct 11th - challenge wrap-up, prizes awarded, and pre-Homeless Connect meeting at noon in Henderson Hall
Sunday Oct 16th - Homeless Connect from 10am to 3pm at the Shaw Conference Centre

If you have any questions or projects you are interested in getting rolling or involved with (like the GELA Women's Prison Library projects) please let us know in the comments or by email and we would be more than happy to share more information.

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