Future Reflections  Convention Report 2006

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Flea Market a Great Success

by Peggy Chong


NOPBC president, Barbara Cheadle (left), and Maryland parent, Sharanda Baker, accept donations from grateful book lovers.The 2006 Braille Book Flea Market, held in Dallas, was another big success. On Monday, July 3, at 5:00 p.m., at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, the doors opened to a long line of parents, teachers, and blind children eagerly waiting for an opportunity to browse through the eighteen large tables piled high with donated Braille books. All afternoon volunteers had helped to open, weed through, sort, stack, and tidy the several pallets of books that had arrived during the last three months.

This year's selection of free books again included Harry Potter, as well as wonderful classics like Heidi. There were also some cookbooks and a few books on gardening, history, and autobiographical material. But as usual, most of the offerings were fiction. Thanks to many individuals, schools, and libraries, we had several pallets of Braille books and a few games donated just for this event. Over five hundred Twin Vision® books (print-Braille picture storybooks) alone were generously contributed to this event. Many had been hand-transcribed. But within thirty minutes of opening the doors, they were all gone.

Hot dogs, brownies, and lemonade were available for busy browsers. They were the really yummy, large hot dogs, yet kids and adults alike were content to wait until the shopping was done before sampling them. Children sat on the floor, deciding which books they would keep to read at night and on the flight home and which should be mailed. UPS volunteers helped box up books to be sent home. In all, three pallets of books (over 200 boxes) went to the post office to be shipped Free Matter for the Blind.

Before the doors closed on the 2006 event, grateful patrons were also given an opportunity (but not required) to make a donation to the sponsors of the event to help defray the costs for the next yearís Braille Book Flea Market. The National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB) and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) appreciate those donations immensely and wish to extent a big Texas thank you to all who helped in Dallas, to all who donated the many wonderful books, and, a special thank you, to all those who spent time Brailling the Twin Vision books.

2007 Flea Market

It is now time to start thinking about and planning for the 2007 Braille Book Flea Market. The event will be held on Monday night, July 2, 2007, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, site of the 2007 NFB National Convention. We are soliciting donations of used or new Braille books for children and youth. In addition to childrenís or youth fiction books, we will accept cookbooks, craft books, hobby books, biographies, and other non-fiction books that appeal to youth. Please, no magazines, dictionaries, encyclopedias, foreign-language books, textbooks, or books with adult content. If you are interested in donating books or have questions about when and where to ship them, please contact flea market coordinator, Peggy Chong, Des Moines, Iowa, at <peggychong@earthlink.net> or call (515) 277-1288.

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