Books Behind Bars documentary screening – March 31st

The GELA Women’s Prison Library and Reintegration Subcommittee and the Edmonton Public Library invite you to attend the screening of Books Behind Bars on March 31 at 7 pm in the Theatre of the Stanley A. Milner Library in downtown Edmonton.

Books Behind Bars is a short documentary film that follows the development and growth of the library, its programs, and the people inside the only multi-level women’s prison facility in Western Canada.

Over the past few years, the Subcommittee has grown from a group of four librarians to a group of over twenty active volunteers, who organize many projects, such as books clubs, book drives, and borrowing projects.  Among these is the Storybook Project, where the volunteers record women reading to their children, and send the recordings, along with the books, to their children.”

A panel discussion will follow the presentation.  This event is being held as a fundraiser to support the on-going library projects at the prison and to purchase materials for the prison library – anyone can attend for free but the suggested donation is $10 or whatever you can afford. Other donations will also be gratefully accepted.


Pub Night Fundraiser a Success!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making our Beers Beyond Bars Pub Night Fundraiser a huge success! Over 70 people came out for the event and helped us raise $925 through the purchase of event passes and raffle tickets. An additional $550 came in through generous donations, bringing our grand total to $1475. This monetary support will be used to support current programs, including our Book Club, Storybook Project, and Computer Literacy working group, and will also purchase many greatly appreciated books from our library wishlists.

Special recognition goes out to PLRC members who helped plan and promote this event, as well as local raffle prize donors Madison’s GrillThe Ranch Golf and Country Club, and photographer Karen McArthur. We would also like to acknowledge the financial support of GELA and LISSA, who provided snacks for the event. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Fundraiser Book Sale a Success!

Our recent fundraiser over the Mother’s Day weekend was a success. We raised $546.00 for our various projects and garnered some media attention too! Check out the Edmonton Sun article and the CTV news item (starts at about 14:09) covering the event. A big thank you to our volunteers and all those who stopped by to chat and donate to the EIFW library. And thanks to the weather for cooperating–especially on Saturday!

GELA Women’s Prison Committee Book Sale Fundraiser (May 8/9)

The Greater Edmonton Library Association (GELA) Women’s Prison and Reintegration Subcommittee is having a Book Sale May 8 and 9, from 10 am – 6 pm (weather permitting) to raise funds for the EIFW library. Feel free to drop by, even to just to say hi and learn more about our committee.

There will be several of us volunteering, but the more, the merrier. Bring friends, distribute our poster, and feel free to invite anyone that we’ve missed!

If you are on Facebook – you can check out our event page for the booksale.

Thank you for your support!


APIRG funding to support the library

Sara and I have successfully applied to APIRG on behalf of ABC Edmonton for a Books Behind Bars project in support of the library. We have received a grant of $670 to be used to buy books for the library and promote the project.

Now to buy some books! We will, of course, be looking to the wishlist, as well as a lists of recommendations from ABC contacts. Kirsten and I have discussed the possibility of buying some reference books.  There’s a bookclub meeting this weekend, so I’ll be able to talk to Cathee about what she thinks would be most useful.

APIRG is also interested in setting up a ‘satellite’ library at the prison. The idea is that they would lend books from their collection to the prison library for an extended period of time and those books would circulate in the prison. This is in discussion stages right now, but I will keep you updated!

Minutes from the Sept. 30th meeting

Here are the minutes from our last meeting, as well as a list of our various sub-committees and their members. Sorry about the tardiness of this post – it looks like many of the action items listed in the minutes have been followed up on, so that’s great. In addition to the updates from the other sub-committees, Kirsten has set up some tentative dates for the next two sessions of the Storybook Project, so expect to hear more from us soon (we’ll likely need to start exploring fundraising opportunities, as this round was supported by a generous donation from Dr. Toni Samek). Lastly, if there are any changes or additions to the sub-committee list posted above, please leave a comment and it will be updated. For those of you interested in fundraising, should we try to set up a meeting in November, or would early December (i.e. end of the Fall semester!) be okay too?