[Bookstoprisoners] other IL BtP invite from us
spiritofsandra at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 18 00:02:29 CDT 2005
Hey UC BtP folks. I am proposing we invite the other two Illinois BTP
programs to come and take advantage of our sale inventory to get caught up
on their request fulfillment. Read my invite to them below. I have not sent
this but would like to send it soon. (it has to go by US mail, I have no
email contacts) Let me know what you think.
Midwest Books to Prisoners
1573 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago Books to Women in Prison
c/o Beyondmedia Education
7013 N. Glenwood Ave.
Chicago IL 60622
Greetings from UC Books to Prisoners program, in Urbana-Champaign Illinois.
We need to talk!
Heres an offer:
We have a book sale coming up on October 22. We have over 6,000 probably
10,000 books ready, all sorted by category. If you are behind in answering
requests we would love to help you fill them from this inventory.
The ideal situation would be for any of your volunteers to bring down the
letters you have and set with us at our outreach are table where we intend
to let sale-goers have a letter, go find the books that will match the
request, and then write a letter to the prisoner and package it up for
Another, less desirable alternative, (because we want to meet you
your help) would be for you to send us the letters, and we will go ahead do
the fulfillment using the above procedure.
We are part of the UC Independent Media Center (UC-IMC) and we are really
rocking. We are staying caught up with requests, and successfully shipping
to about 10-16 inmates per week. In addition we just put more than 1000
books into our local county jail and are coordinating a volunteer librarian
program to staff this library and keep regular hours six times per month.
I dont know what you know about us, but we started about 1 ½ years ago when
Bloomington Indiana, Midwest Pages to Prisoner Project (c/oBoxcar Books)
gave Adam ____ our founding volunteer, their Illinois requests. We may now
be listed a few prisoner resource guides, but have otherwise grown through
prisoner-to-prisoner word of mouth. We had very little inventory and very
cramped quarters until Feburary 05, when we were able to move into a
donated church space. It was still too small, but better. In March 05, we
held our first books sale. We got our books from books drives conducted by
our volunteers and by some honor societies at the University of Illinois. We
cleared about $1300 which we have used primarily for postage and packing
supplies. In May, the UC-IMC bought a wonderful building (the historic
Urbana Post Office) and we moved into an long, narrow, former postal sorting
room, lined with shelves -- that seems like it was just made for us.
We havent had a book drive since the, but through some strategic articles
in the UC-IMCs newspaper The Public i and placement of a collection bin
at the local health food stores, Strawberry Fields, and the Common Ground
food coop, we have been amazed by the community support of donated books. We
encourage donation of all books. We then sort onto our shelves those books
that will go toward prisoner request fulfillment. We put everything else
into our book-sale-inventory. Because we have so very many book donations,
this is still a great inventory to pull from. If it turns out that we cant
fill your requests from this inventory we are having the book sale right
next door to our home location, and so we can use that inventory as well.
Well, what do you think? Do you have a backlog of requests and is inventory
part of the issue; if so, will we be able to work together to make a bunch
of prisoners happy? Potentially, if the sale goes well, we will be able to
use our funds to ship the request. I dont know if you have coordinated a
big shipment before, but if you are shipping several packages to one prison
at the same time to individually wrap the packages, but then put them all
in one big box saves a lot of postage dollars. We could coordinate that for
this event also.
Please check us out at www.books2prisoners.org and email us right away if
you are interested in this proposal. Our email is
bookstoprisoners at lists.chambana.net. Please let us know what kind of backlog
Sandra Ahten, on behalf of the folks at
UC Books to Prisoners
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