Monday, October 31, 2011

Film Screening and Workshop- “Framing the Intervention: How Canada Staged Its Takeover of the Lubicon Lake Nation”

This Tuesday, November 1st APIRG and the Friends of the Lubicon Alberta are presenting a film screening and workshop about the struggles that the Lubicon Cree people face here in Alberta. We hope you can make it for this event.

Film Screening and Workshop- “Framing the Intervention: How Canada Staged Its Takeover of the Lubicon Lake Nation” 

When: Tuesday, November 1st, 6pm-9pm
Where: Education South room 129, University of Alberta
"Framing the Intervention: How Canada Staged its Takeover of the Lubicon Lake Nation"
Imagine living in a society where your health- the one thing you value the most- is not protected by decision makers. Imagine your right to proper health being taken away as you live in less than desirable conditions. No. you do not have to live in a third world country to experience these conditions. In fact, this is occurring right in our own backyards, and we are doing nothing to stop it.
This is a film not only about the latest oil spill disaster in Little Buffalo, but a film about the catastrophe the Lubicon continue to endure while INAC refuses to allow duly-elected Lubicon leadership to take office.
On April 29, a pipeline leaked 4.5 million litres of crude oil into the wetlands of traditional Lubicon Cree territory. The pressing question is not so much how the spill occurred, but how the Lubiconcommunity had NO Emergency Response Plan. Living amidst 2300 km of pipeline and over 2000 oil wells, an emergency response plan is vital to everyday safety.
So how could the Lubicon have been without a plan?
To understand the treatment of the Lubicon community, this film examines the patterns of exclusion adopted by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) years before the spill. This film will allow you to gain insight into the struggles of the Lubicon Cree.
This is their story.
Presented by: 

Friends of the Lubicon Alberta

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Charles Bukowski on Censorship

In 1985, a library in Holland banned one of Charles Bukowski's books: Tales of Ordinary Madness. The library officials said the work was "very sadistic, occasionally fascist and discriminatory against certain groups (including homosexuals)."
Bukowski responded with this brilliant letter, from Letters of Note on October 18th
Check out the link to see a photo of the letter that is currently displayed in the Open Dicht Bus, a mobile book store usually based in Eindhoven.


Dear Hans van den Broek:

Thank you for your letter telling me of the removal of one of my books from the Nijmegen library. And that it is accused of discrimination against black people, homosexuals and women. And that it is sadism because of the sadism.

The thing that I fear discriminating against is humor and truth.

If I write badly about blacks, homosexuals and women it is because of these who I met were that. There are many "bads"--bad dogs, bad censorship; there are even "bad" white males. Only when you write about "bad" white males they don't complain about it. And need I say that there are "good" blacks, "good" homosexuals and "good" women?

In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see. If I write of "sadism" it is because it exists, I didn't invent it, and if some terrible act occurs in my work it is because such things happen in our lives. I am not on the side of evil, if such a thing as evil abounds. In my writing I do not always agree with what occurs, nor do I linger in the mud for the sheer sake of it. Also, it is curious that the people who rail against my work seem to overlook the sections of it which entail joy and love and hope, and there are such sections. My days, my years, my life has seen up and downs, lights and darknesses. If I wrote only and continually of the "light" and never mentioned the other, then as an artist I would be a liar.

Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can't vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere, in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence. They were only taught to look one way when many ways exist.

I am not dismayed that one of my books has been hunted down and dislodged from the shelves of a local library. In a sense, I am honored that I have written something that has awakened these from their non-ponderous depths. But I am hurt, yes, when somebody else's book is censored, for that book, usually is a great book and there are few of those, and throughout the ages that type of book has often generated into a classic, and what was once thought shocking and immoral is now required reading at many of our universities.

I am not saying that my book is one of those, but I am saying that in our time, at this moment when any moment may be the last for many of us, it's damned galling and impossibly sad that we still have among us the small, bitter people, the witch-hunters and the declaimers against reality. Yet, these too belong with us, they are part of the whole, and if I haven't written about them, I should, maybe have here, and that's enough.

may we all get better together,

Charles Bukowski

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Edmonton Supports Slave Lake Public Library

Edmonton area library associations GELA, ELLA, NAHLA, LISSA, & AALT are hosting a fundraising event on Thursday, November 3rd at Paul Byrne Hall, in the Robbins Health Learning Centre on the MacEwan University City Centre Campus (10910-104 Avenue) to support the Rotary Club of Slave Lake Public Library, which was destroyed by the fires that devastated the entire community of Slave Lake earlier this year. Their library had just moved to this new facility in 2010 and it is a huge loss for this community as well as the wider library community in Alberta.

Marilyn Cavanaugh, chair of the Slave Lake Regional Library Board Chair, will be speaking about the experiences of the library as it recovers from the fires that destroyed much of the town of Slave Lake.
This ticketed event begins with a reception at 5:00 pm, followed by the guest speaker at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $15 ($12 for students), and are available through the GELA website or at the door.

A portion of each ticket will go towards the reconstruction efforts of the library. Attendees will also have the opportunity to make a personal donation at the event.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kurt Vonnegut


"So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries."

Kurt Vonnegut

image by netmonkey via Flickr

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Wanted Books

We distributed over 1000 books this past week at Homeless Connect 7, but there are always titles and authors that are requested that we don't have or run out of quickly. We always keep a list of these requests and try to meet the need the next time around. If you happen to have any of these books available to donate or are able to round up some before next May please let FLIF know and we will do our best to arrange a pick up. Many of these will likely end up on our next 'Most Wanted Books Challenge' list. 
This year we had a tremendous number of requests for non-fiction titles and very few resources in this area. Check out the types/genres lists and see if you have any current books that fit these descriptions.

If you would like to make a book donation please contact FLIF through email at flifblog(at)

Please note that we do not have the ability to store large amounts of books and are only able to accept donations of up-to-date non-fiction and fiction titles in good condition. Thanks!

  • Dean Koontz
  • David Gemmell
  • Nicholas Sparks
  • Thrasher (author who was homeless, writes about life on the street)
  • Stephen King
  • Arthur C. Clark (Rama series specifically)
  • Catherine Cookson
  • Jackie Collins
  • Danielle Steele
  • Charles Dickens
  • John Steinbeck
  • John Grisham

  • Twilight Series
  • Three Musketeers

  • Westerns **we are in DESPERATE need of paperback westerns!**
  • comic books & graphic novels
  • books for babies/board books
  • crossword puzzle books
  • Chicken Soup series
  • Christian literature
  • Self-help books
  • Natural medicine
  • health books
  • Aboriginal titles & authors
  • political books: Anti-war and Anti-capitalism
  • Dictionaries & Atlases
  • Math & Physics textbooks
  • quantum physics
  • astronomy
  • French language books
  • Spanish language books 
  • true crime  
  • ghost stories
  •  magazines

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Open Access Week: Oct 24th - 28th

Athabasca University is hosting Open Access week starting October 24, 2011. There will be a series of five noon-hour webcasts exploring major issues and opportunities presented by Open Educational Resources (OER). Each session will feature an internationally known promoter and developer of open educational resources, research, or ideas. Everyone is welcome. This is a great opportunity to grab your lunch and a pair of headphones and take in some great lectures from wherever you are duing the week - talk about open access! The sessions are listed below:

Monday, October 24th- Fun and Fear in Open Spaces
Presenters: Dr. Terry Anderson, Dr. Jon Dron
Tuesday, October 25th- Post Secondary Leadership in the OER Movement
Presenter: Dr. Frits Pannekoek

Wednesday, October 26th - Making Sense of Complexity in Open Information Environments
Presenter: George Siemens
Thursday, October 27th – Panel on Moving to Open Educational Resources at Athabasca University
Presenters: Dr. Lisa Carter, Dr. Cindy Ives, Tony Tin, Colin Elliott
Friday, October 28th – OER’s and Sustainable Innovation: Low Cost, Low Risk but High Impact
Presenters: Dr. Rory McGreal, Dr. Wayne Mackintosh

Each session is being presented as a Webcast from noon to 1 p.m. MST. For more information or to join the sessions please go to:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Libraries Got Screwed by Amazon and Overdrive

This blog post comes courtesy of the very talented and hardworking SLIS tech Nicole - thanks so much for sending this around and allowing FLIF to repost your message.  This is a really important issue in public libraries right now as Kindles and e-readers become more popular. It is a lot easier for these kinds of decisions to get made at the top and passed on down to users without a venue for discussion or effective complaint when we don't know anything about it. As proto-librarians (and often current library workers) it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and follow how digital books are being produced and restricted. This is going to be a very important medium for readers and we have an opportunity to be a part of the discussion as these important decisions get made. 

Ok FLIF-ers, it's time to get educated and get loud, this issue matters. Check out the excellent video below:
from Nicole: 

Intellectual freedom and privacy are fundamental values in our profession and according to Sarah Houghton (Librarian in Black) the new Amazon/Overdrive deal with libraries pushes the boundaries of these values.
I encourage you all to watch the video at the link below/attached and then forward on. I have also included links to less biased commentary - the announcement from Overdrive and a Library Journal article
Fair warning...there is some swearing. Librarian in Black is really pissed!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homeless Connect 7 - Thank you volunteers!!

A tremendous THANK YOU! to our amazing group of volunteers who came out this past Sunday to make the 7th Homeless Connect in downtown Edmonton a huge success. 

 We had our largest number of volunteers yet attend and gave away over 1000 books to the event attendees. 
This is just a small group of our many (many!) volunteers who came throughout the day.

We really want to thank everyone who gave their time on Sunday (some of you VERY early in the morning) as well as your box hefting abilities and your librarian knowledge to help out the homeless and at risk community in our city. This is an incredible event in the city and it is easy to see what an impact just one day can have on many lives. This event grows each time it is held and I hope that many of our volunteers can attest that it is not only fun but also interesting and moving to see how this city can come together to create an event like this. 
You guys are not only brilliant, hard working, fun, organized, and knowledgeable, you are also very artistically gifted!

We would also like to thank everyone who participated in our Most Wanted Books Challenge - we were able to meet a lot more of our specific author and title requests this year than we have previously. Huge thanks to our booth mates - Edmonton Public Libraries for their very generous donations to this program and Community Bookshelf. We couldn't do this event without your donations. 
I'm still reeling with positive energy from how great this event was, we had so much great feedback from the attendees and other service providers and I hope to see many of you back in the spring for Homeless Connect 8 in May 2012. 

Thanks again! from you FLIF board members Shannon & Carly :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Most Wanted Book Challenge Winners

This little project was an amazing success! Huge thanks to all three of our teams who brought in an incredible amount of books (we were blown away!) and all without spending a dime. What an accomplishment and what an incredible community of generous FLIF members. We collected several HUNDRED books in just one short week - all items that are frequently requested.

There was one team who went above and beyond (WAY beyond!) and collected so many books it created a huge pile in Henderson Hall for us to bring to Homeless Connect this weekend. Congrats to Sarah Zakordonski, Stephanie Foremsky, Caitlin Guse, Stephanie Johnson, Christine, and Andrea for this amazing achievement. 

Again, thanks so much to everyone who participated and everyone who donated books for this  competition. We wanted to give a special thanks to SHAVA (Sturgeon Hospital Auxiliary Volunteer Association) Bookstore who donated a large number of books for this event. This is a fantastic shop with a great selection of used books (and wonderfully organized!). We highly recommend stopping by if you are in St Albert. 

Grandin Mall, St. Albert
Wed-Sat from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
(780) 458-4655

We will see many of you this weekend at Homeless Connect 7 in downtown Edmonton! 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The FLIF Most Wanted Book Challenge

The FLIF Most Wanted Book Challenge is on!

Each year at Homeless Connect we have requests for specific titles, authors, and subjects that we cannot accommodate with our generous donations from EPL and the University of Alberta Libraries. This year we hope to provide more of these highly requested books by specifically collecting these items.
Participants in the Most Wanted Book Challenge will work in groups to collect as many items as they can that fall within the parameters of our most wanted list (included below). The team that has collected the most books after one week will be awarded a prize from FLIF. 

Each team will be provided with the most wanted list, a small amount of cash ($10), and an envelope for collecting any receipts. If you would like to participate but missed the noon meeting today it's not too late! Just email us at and we can arrange to get you some cash or you are more than welcome to play with exclusively donated books.
Any books that are purchased with the money must be accounted for with a receipt of some kind (even if it is handwritten). Any unused cash should be returned to FLIF at the end of the competition.  
You can beg, borrow, or buy the books from anywhere and use your powers of persuasion to collect as many materials as possible for our Homeless Connect patrons. Good luck and please rendez vous back in Henderson Hall in on Tuesday, October 11th at noon to tally up the collections and name the winners.

If you have any questions please email the FLIF co-chairs at

Homeless Connect - Most Wanted: 


Types & Titles:
  • Current best-selling fiction (vampire novels, Millennium Trilogy, Game of Thrones, The Help, etc/)
  • Self-help/inspirational/Christianity (Chicken Soup series especially)
  • true crime
  • biographies
  • sports books
  • Archie comics
  • graphic novels
  • crossword books (new)
  • Goosebumps series
  • Children's books (French language books especially)