As many of you know, last winter we moved from our old location at University Christian Church to our new home with Crown Hill United Methodists (CHUM.) Unfortunately, the building is being transferred to a new church, and we’re being sent out to look for a new space again. This happened with fairly short notice for us; we need to be out of here by the end of September. Since moving takes about two months, we really need your help finding a new location as soon as we can!
What kind of space is BTP looking for?
Although we are a low-budget organization, we need a space that’s big enough to hold all of our books while also giving volunteers room to work. We also like to live with people who are sympathetic to the work that we’re doing, and don’t mind us having relatively late volunteer hours. In order of importance, we specifically need…
- More than 800 square feet of room for us to store books and work in
- Less than $1,000 a month in rent
- Availability for morning, evening, and weekend shifts
- Proximity to major bus lines in the Seattle area
- Permission to install shelves that mount into the walls
- At least one parking and/or loading space for delivering carloads of books
- Wheelchair accessibility: either a ground-floor space or a working elevator
- Options for a multi-year lease (we really don’t want to do this again 8 months from now!)
How soon is everything happening?
We don’t know just yet. We need to be entirely out of our current space by the end of September: once we find a new location that suits our needs, we’re likely to begin the process of moving out immediately. Once that process starts, we’ll stop answering letters, box up books, tear down the shelves, get everything hauled over, and rebuild; there will be volunteer opportunities abound for anybody wanting to help out! Until that happens, we’re going to continue our day-to-day operations! (However, we have stopped taking almost all donations for the time being.)
If you’re a volunteer with us and want to be kept up to date on closures or work parties, please talk with the next keyholder you see to ensure you’re on our announcement list; if you’re not volunteering with us, please feel free to sign up for our newsletter or find us on twitter/instagram.
How can I help?
Right now, we’re in dire need of leads on any space that could house us. Please ask around on our behalf! If you hear about anywhere that you think we should contact, you can send the information to BooksToPrisoners@live.com.
Once the moving process begins, we’ll need people for:
- Packing up and moving boxes (book sorting, physical labor)
- Unmounting/disassembly of shelves (carpentry)
- Moving books and materials to the new location (physical labor, driving)
- Assembly and mounting of shelves (more carpentry)
- Pulling books from the boxes and shelving them (book sorting, physical labor)
Work shifts for the above tasks will be posted after we know where we’re moving and have a stronger timeline. We’ll additionally want to gather up the following:
- Electric drills
- Impact drivers
- Electric screwdrivers
- 1″ and 2″ wood screws
- Hand trucks/dolleys
But we’re not gathering any of those things yet, as we don’t know how much longer we’ll be in this space. The call will go out on our social media/email listservs once we know more.
Please spread the word!
Although this is all very sudden, we’ve been through far worse as an organization. However, we do need your help to get a new location! Please talk with your minister, your boss, your friends/coworkers/in-laws/nieces & nephews/polycule/D&D crew/affinity group. The sooner we find a new spot, the sooner we can get settled in and finish catching up on our backlog from the last time we moved.