Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Demonstrate your compassion for others at this year’s WLA Conference

Every year at the WLA Conference we like to ask our attendees to give back something to their community to enhance others lives.  In the past we have sponsored food drives, but even though that is a wonderful gesture, the reality is that food isn’t always that easy to lug around in your suitcase as you trundle off to the conference.  Well, this year we’ve decided to support a worthwhile cause that only asks that you consider donating an item that as librarians should be pretty easy to come up with.  Bring a book! Hey, it’s much easier than carrying a bag of food to the Conference. Think of your donation as food for the mind!

Please read about this worthwhile project in the letter below from Sandra Melcher, the Chair of the Wisconsin Council on Library and Network Development.  You’ll see how finding a new life for some gently used books even plays into this year’s conference theme: Libraries – A Renewable Resource.

Wisconsin Prison Literacy Project

Correctional libraries face unique challenges that other libraries may not, but they still strive to promote a life-long love of learning and reading. These libraries, located in state prisons and county jails, are in serious need of materials and would greatly appreciate donations from other libraries, churches, publishers, the public, and other sources to help build and maintain a diverse and timely collection.

The Wisconsin Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND), in partnership with the Department of Corrections and Department of Public Instruction, has created a special sub-committee on prisons to assist correctional libraries by collecting and distributing written materials for inmates in our state facilities. The COLAND sub-committee on prisons is dedicated to helping these correctional libraries reach male and female inmates by helping them collect materials in subject areas of greatest need. These efforts will help those incarcerated to become productive citizens when they re-enter their communities. Multiple studies over the past two decades have shown that inmates who improve their reading and educational performance stand a better chance of becoming working citizens than those who struggle with reading.

COLAND encourages you to donate books that are in good condition, current and with the exception of literary classics, published within the past 3 years. Donated books must match the subject areas that are listed on the enclosed Wisconsin Department of Corrections Collection Development Areas List. Paperbacks are usually preferred, but this format is required only for books given to inmates in segregation status. Hard covers are allowed in the general collections of most institutions. Please follow the instructions below to deliver the materials.
All donations may be shipped directly to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections - Library Project, 3099 E. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53707-7925. You may also arrange for delivery by contacting Tim Drexler of South Central Library System at (608) 266-4643. There is no charge if the shipment is small and the donating or delivery site public/private library is served by the South Central Library System delivery service.

Your donations are appreciated and will help to improve the quality of life for inmates and their families throughout Wisconsin. Thank you for your consideration and support.


Sandra Melcher, COLAND Chair

So there you have it, a proposal that allows you to donate something you can carry in your suitcase that nourishes the soul without leaking on your PJ’s on your way to the Conference!  Please support this worthwhile effort. (For a list of suggested book genre suggestions, click here!)
--Michael Kenney, 2011 WLA Conference Publicity Chair

No comments: