Saturday, 28 February 2009

Take two

I wrote a new blog a few days ago and it disappeared into some sort of black hole, so here we go again.

January was fairly quiet after a bumper Christmas in the UK. In February, however, we took 1000 books to Groningen and another 600 a week later. We are hoping that a new BookSpace will be created there and that the project will be used as a work-activity at the 12de Huis, a organization supporting drug-users.
It would be wonderful if a project could be built up to supply books to organizations in the provinces of Groningen and Friesland. Since we fist started with Borderline Books we have tried to build up contacts in Groningen as it is twinned with Newcastle upon Tyne. Now that things are up and running in Newcastle it has been wonderful to see the Groningen contacts begin to flower.

On 26 February we also took part in the Winter Festival organized by Libertas in Leiden. On Thursday 26th we were open to the public for the entire day. We had around 50 visitors, amazed that we had such a huge variety of books and that for one day only, they too could choose books for themslves. After all the effort we have put in over the past 7 years it was interesting to see that none of the visitors appeared to have heard about the project. That will change now and we hope that we may also get some new volunteers.

We had another visit from Leger des Heils (Salvation Army) in Den Haag. Their clients are always happy to spend a couple of hours browsing the bookshelves and they took a new supply of books for their drop-in centre. We are still working on a plan to cooperate on the creation of a BookSpace in Den Haag. There are probably thousands of book-hungry people in that city and we have long cherished the idea of getting something up and running there.

Next target: Nijmegen! We are planning a meeting with Rutger Kips, another of the nominees for the Ab Harrewijn prize last year, to see if we can work together to create another BookSpace on the opposite side of the country from Leiden.

Our total outflow in February was almost 2000 books. We need more months like this!

We expect to need to move from our current location in Leiden within the next few months, so it is imperative that we build up more projects around the country to make the books available to those in need. Suggestions welcome, help welcome, funds welcome.

We'll keep you posted.