Dublin in 2019 Plans Books Outreach

The Dublin 2019 Worldcon Bid will be supporting a science fiction and fantasy books Outreach program, where they give away free new and secondhand books at various conventions and events in the UK and Ireland, and encourage people to attend conventions such as Worldcon, Octocon and Eastercon. The Bid Team has been gathering donations from publishers as well as secondhand books from fans.

The bid’s first giveaway will be at Dublin Comic Con, August 8-9.

Books Outreach began in 2008 with James Bacon and John Dowd promoting Eastercon LX in 2009, at London Film and Comic Con (LFCC) and then Thought Bubble.

In the US, events have been coordinated as Science Fiction Outreach by Helen Montgomery since 2010. The first event was at Wondercon in April 2011, and the most recent at Emerald City Con.

The Dublin in 2019 press release explains:

Books Outreach is important to us both as a Bid team and as supporters of our local convention scene, since it allows us to talk to fans, especially those who might not initially consider attending a science fiction and fantasy convention. In doing so, we can also encourage everyone to read more science fiction and fantasy – something that is obviously very close to our hearts! For those who prefer a good rummage, the secondhand section provides a huge variety of books, and we love recommending old classics and previously undiscovered authors to new readers.

Dublin 2019 and the Outreach team are indebted to the publishers who have already donated many thousands of books, and we’re really looking forward to giving these away! In alphabetical order, we have already received books from Angry Robot, Gollancz, Hodder, O’Brien Press, Penguin and Tor, with further donations of graphic novels from Forbidden Planet International. Many of our supporters are also helping by recycling books they have read and may not have space for. We give out thousands of books every year, so having these people behind us is not only appreciated, but an essential part of the project.

We look forward to seeing you from behind piles of books at our stands and hope you are as excited about this as we are! We will of course, get a sneaky word in about our fantastic bid to bring Worldcon to Ireland for the first time ever (it’s about time!), and enthuse about the other conventions in the UK and Ireland. And, if anyone is interested in donating (as a publisher or with secondhand books – we love both equally), please get in touch with us at admin@dublin2019.com, and we’ll see if we can arrange collection.

5 thoughts on “Dublin in 2019 Plans Books Outreach

  1. A very cool project! I loved the Free Library at Loncon 3and found books there that I’d have paid money for, so I’d like to pay that back a little by donating some stuff to a similar project. I have a couple of boxes of SF magazines that I’d donate to Dublin in 2019 or some similar group if we could arrange pick-up from Southwest Virginia or perhaps from some convention I’ll be attending. I don’t imagine that it would be worth the cost to ship them to Dublin from Virginia, but I’ll be looking for an opportunity closer to home to put those magazines back into fannish circulation.

  2. What a great program!

    I hope they’ll figure out how to avoid having dealers make off with free books to sell, as has happened at cons in the past where free books were made available for fans.

  3. @JJ

    I think they do this mainly at the media style cons – as an attempt to draw people into fandom. It isn’t just the free books, they actually talk to people telling them about SF fandom, and Worldcons in general, and how becoming a member allows them to vote on the Hugo. I don’t think there are many second-hand book dealers at those events.

  4. @Andyl is right here. We have a lots of volunteers in attendance on the ‘stall’, and the object is to bring books like this to fans who might not necessarily have attended a science fiction convention like Worldcon or Octocon. As such we do Outreach at events like LFCC in the UK, Emerald City Con and Dublin Comicon, which tend to have newer fans, as well as lots of families in attendance. Without generalising too much, these groups often want recommendations for what to read, or don’t get the chance to pick things up very often. We give out the books and make recommendations, as well as talking about what events like Worldcon are like, and supporting local groups and conventions. It would be pretty hard for dealers to sneak past the rafts of us waving Dublin 2019 bookmarks at them and frothing over dogeared copies of Starburst; they’d have to run a bit of a gauntlet! We’ve also got about 3000 new books from publishers as well (well, 2999 and a suspiciously secondhand one, because there’s at least one I want to read and put back!!).

  5. @Curt – sadly West Virginia is a bit of a hike for us at the moment; but drop me a line (admin@dublin2019.com). We have counterparts in the US who might be able to take shipment, and you never know how far our tentacles might spread in the future. And thank-you for the offer! Always appreciated.

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