Plenty of goodwill in book sale supporting prison libraries

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Goodwill could be found among the tables of donated books and baked treats for sale Saturday morning at the Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews Community Association.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/05/2017 (2009 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Goodwill could be found among the tables of donated books and baked treats for sale Saturday morning at the Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews Community Association.

The event in support of the Manitoba Library Association’s prison libraries committee and the Bar None ridesharing program featured pay-what-you-want pricing, and business was brisk.

“It gives people, especially since we are in a low-income neighbourhood, the chance to pay whatever they feel comfortable with… We want everyone to have access to books,” said Jacquie Nicholson, one of the sale’s organizers. “It all balances out. Once people learn what we are doing this for, they tend to be generous with their money.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Book hunters browse through the piles of potential reading material at the Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews Community Association on Saturday.

“Contrary to many popular-culture depictions of what the general public thinks of people in jail, most people know someone in jail or has been in jail or has committed a crime… and know that people in jail are human. They are our neighbours and community members we care about, and they want to support this.

“So it is very encouraging.”

Proceeds from the Saturday sale will be split equally between the prison libraries committee and the rideshare program that connects unpaid volunteer drivers with low-income people seeking to visit their friends and loved ones in jail, Nicholson said.

“People very generously gave thousands of books. We do two things with them: we make money (through the sale), and we use them to stock prison libraries (in four Manitoba remand centres),” she said.

The committee also supports prison library programming and works to acquire high-demand literature that tends not to be donated, such as educational and parenting books and books by indigenous authors.

The first edition of the sale made about $2,000 last year, and organizers were expecting a similar tally Saturday, Nicholson said.

scott.emmerson@freepress.mb.ca

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