Winter Institute Book Drive to Benefit Three Minneapolis-Based Organizations

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Wi12 logoBooksellers attending Winter Institute 12 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, this January will have the opportunity to donate books to any of three local charities: the Minneapolis Community Education – Adult Education North Campus Day Program, the Hennepin County Medical Center’s Children’s Literacy Program, and the Women’s Prison Book Project.

Donation tables will be open on Saturday, January 28, and Sunday, January 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Monday, January 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Minneapolis Hyatt Regency Exhibit Hall. Booksellers are encouraged to write blurbs for the books they bring ahead of time, but pens and note paper will be provided.

“The book drive is an easy way for us to create a community service project for booksellers to support local Minneapolis readers in need,” said ABA Education Manager Lisa Winn. “It’s a way for ABA and booksellers to give back to the city that is hosting Winter Institute.”

The Minneapolis Community Education – Adult Education North Campus Day Program offers both English Language (ELL) and GED classes, serving approximately 200 students five mornings a week. The program’s adult education students come from more than 20 countries and range in age from 17 to 80, with most speaking Hmong, Spanish, Somali, Oromo, Amharic, or English. The literacy levels of the program’s ELL students range from beginning readers to about a fifth or sixth grade reading level, while most GED students, who are both native and non-native English speakers, read at approximately a sixth to tenth grade reading level. Many students in the program are also parents and would appreciate children’s books to share with their families.

“Our English Language Learners and GED students have limited means to purchase books for themselves or their families, but they truly appreciate the importance of reading in their lives. Thank you so much, ABA booksellers, for your help in promoting the joy of reading and increased literacy in our north Minneapolis community,” said Darlene Hays, a teacher at the program. “Mary Magers, owner of Magers & Quinn, our local independent bookseller, has generously supported our group’s annual student book club for the past 10 years.”

Book genres requested by Minneapolis Community Education – Adult Education North Campus:

  • Favorite memoir/biography/autobiography about an inspiring person
  • Favorite book about the importance of education or the joy of reading
  • Favorite book on overcoming a challenge 
  • Favorite children’s book (early readers, young readers, young adult)
  • Favorite nonfiction book (science or social studies)
  • Favorite multicultural book
  • Favorite historical fiction book
  • Favorite book of literature
  • Favorite book of poetry

The Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is a public hospital in the heart of Minneapolis featuring a robust Children’s Literacy Program that distributes thousands of books to patients and visitors annually. Now established in all of the center’s primary care clinics, HCMC’s Children’s Literacy Program started out by implementing Reach Out and Read, a national program promoting early reading and school readiness in healthcare clinics across the country.

Lynne Burke, the children’s literacy liaison at HCMC, highlighted the importance of the program to the young patients and visitors it serves.

“Research tells us that children who read lead healthier lives. We begin at birth and distribute books through adolescence in more than 30 different HCMC clinics and departments,” said Burke, who also serves as executive director of Reach Out and Read Minnesota. “Books keep our patients company, allay their fears, provide distraction, give comfort, and spark joy in addition to helping them prepare for and succeed in school. Books are an essential component of the pediatric care we provide. We distribute 30,000 books annually and all are either donated or paid for with donations.”

Book genres requested by Hennepin County Medical Center’s Children’s Literacy Program:

  • Books for all ages in any language, including board books, picture books, and activity books (coloring books, sticker books, puzzle books, etc.)
  • Early/beginning readers, chapter books, and novels for older readers
  • Board books and picture books in any language (for HCMC’s Reach Out and Read clinics)

The Minneapolis-based Women’s Prison Book Project (WPBP) is an all-volunteer run, individually funded program that sends free reading materials, all of which are donated, to women in prison. The books provide those who are incarcerated a sense of intellectual freedom and personal agency that can help them both inside and outside prison walls. For example, women in prison have specific needs for certain kinds of information, including women’s self-help and women’s health, and many lesbian, bisexual, and transgender prisoners often have trouble obtaining information that is relevant to their lives.

“In partnership with our sister project, Chicago Books to Women in Prison, we collect and stock genres specific to those folks making requests, from hundreds of prisons and facilities all over the country,” said Heidi Heise, a program volunteer. “The Women’s Prison Book Project hopes our participation in the ABA Winter Institute will familiarize booksellers with the functional side of the project as well as the important role that WPBP helps fill, maintaining a connection with those on the inside.

Book genres requested by Women’s Prison Book Project:

  • Horror (vampire novels are always a hit!)
  • Mystery
  • True Crime
  • Urban Fiction
  • African American Fiction
  • Crochet
  • Dictionaries
  • GED Kaplan
  • Trans
  • Recovery
  • Drawing
  • Wicca
  • Natural hair care and braiding
  • Health

Winter Institute 12, which will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from Friday evening, January 27, through Monday, January 30, 2017, is made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor Ingram Content Group and from publishers large and small.