Greetings to the friends of People’s Books:

Towards the end of spring, a colleague and I met with Chris Chiu to discuss the future of his bookstore. We proposed turning his independent business into a community centered cooperative. Chris accepted our proposal under the condition that we do the work. We began our community outreach, and two turned into over a dozen. Our core group organizing the cooperative now includes Milwaukee residents from all directions, book lovers, as well as current and former college professors, teachers, and graduate students. Over the past two months, our diverse group has continuously gathered to make the dream of a cooperative bookstore a reality.

Best yet, our weekly meetings are fruitful. As of July 31st, we are now People’s Books Cooperative. We filed our Articles of Incorporation with the State, which makes our bookstore a legal cooperative. But what is a cooperative without its members? We need members to ratify our bylaws and elect our first Board of Directors. So, we ask you, the loyal patrons of People’s Books to become members. Advantages of your membership include voting rights, shared decision-making power, and discounts on merchandise.

Beyond membership, the next step is to volunteer. Now that we managed the legal issues of our cooperative, we turn our attention to community outreach and the bookstore itself. There are numerous opportunities to join our cooperative effort through pamphlet drops, Sunday Sidewalk Sales, book assessment, and working the register. These are just a few possible ways in which you can help the cooperative. Stop into the store and from there you decide how your thoughts, insights, and talents fit into our volunteer coordination. Benefits from volunteering with our cooperative include strengthening the Milwaukee community, educating the UWM neighborhood, and of course discounts.

I am more than willing to meet for coffee or tea to further discuss opportunities for membership and to volunteer. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns.

In cooperation,

Jim Draeger

People’s Books Community Gathering Jan. 1, noon to 6 p.m.

Dear Member of People’s Books Cooperative,

Over two weeks have passed since our Grand Opening celebration in November. My apologies for this untimely note, but thank you for making our first community gathering a success. We filled the day with smiles, laughter, music, poetry, good food, and drink. Most important, though, we gathered to build community and to strengthen Milwaukee’s cultural Renaissance. A special thanks to Chris Christie for coordinating such a successful event.

Our next community gathering is January 1, 2008 from 12–6pm at the bookstore. Keeping Chris Chiu’s tradition, we intend to once again open our doors to gather the public. Refreshments will be provided as well as the showing of a movie. Past movies shown have commented on issues such as army recruitment, media, political families, war, food, and oil. Please join us with friends and family as we ring in the New Year.

Amidst this holiday season, please also keep People’s Books in mind. We currently have new titles arriving in the store as well as some classics that make great gifts. We also offer calendars, journals, and fair trade gifts for stocking stuffers. Gift certificates are available and we can special order most books for the holiday.

Lastly, as a new member, we encourage you to take the next step and become a volunteer. Volunteer duties include many projects within the store such as working the register and attending meetings. The next Board meeting is December 13th 7pm at the bookstore. There are also many opportunities to volunteer outside the store such as leafleting your neighborhood or talking with friends and family. You can apply any of your individual strengths to sustaining our cooperative endeavor. Stop into the store and talk with any of the volunteer staff to learn more.

For the co-op,

Jim Draeger

Jim Draeger
People’s Books Cooperative
2122 E. Locust St.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
phone/fax: 414.962.0575
mobile: 262.370.7709

Wealth is the number of things one can do without.
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Last edited by Tyler Schuster. Based on work by TeganDowling and Jim.  Page last modified on December 09, 2007

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