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The small northern community of Slave Lake, Alberta was ravaged by wildfires on May 15, 2011. Thousands were evacuated. Thousands lost their homes, businesses and community centers. One such devastated center for the community was the Slave Lake Library, a new library, built a year and a half ago. Libraries are essential, despite what we read about the rise of ebooks and digital journals. They are  institutions of learning, support and culture. I love my local library and would do everything I could to help if it were destroyed by fire, or any natural disaster. When I learned that fellow book nerd and friend, Colleen McKie was raising funds to help the Slave Lake Library I felt compelled to spread the word (and do a little bidding). I hope you will too.

Colleen is the creator of Slave Lake Book Auction, an online event to benefit the reconstruction and re-shelving of Slave Lake Library. She has graciously agreed to do a short Q&A about herself and Slave Lake Library.

Writer and Book Nerd Colleen McKie

Who and Where are you?

Literal answer: Colleen McKie. I’m in beautiful Hunter River, PEI, Canada
Interpretive answer: I’m a book nerd. I read books. I write books. I worship books. I’m usually in front of my laptop writing or my nose is in a book.
Slave Lake Library before the fire.

What does Slave Lake Library mean to you?

I’ve never been to Slave Lake. But when I saw the picture of the library burnt to the ground, all those books just GONE, it broke my heart. I kept thinking about all the people who love to read but can’t afford to buy books or prefer to use the library. Children’s story time. Old folk reading the paper. Kids using the computers for homework. Libraries are suck welcoming, cozy places. It’s just devastating.

Slave Lake Library During the Fire.

How did you come by the books for the Slave Lake Auctions?

When I first decided to hold the auction, I emailed, tweeted and facebooked pretty much every author I was online friends with to see if they’d like to donate. I’m also a book blogger, so I emailed my contacts at various publishing houses also. And then it took off. I started getting emails from authors and publishers I didn’t know wanted to donate an item. As of now I have 68 items that will be up for auction and I anticipate more coming in. The response has been amazing.

Slave Lake Library After the Fire

Photograph by: Rick MacWilliam

Are there any auctions you wish you could bid on, but can’t?

And who says I can’t bid? LOL I am not collecting any of the money directly, so the way I see it, it’s fair game. 😛



Thank you so much Colleen for taking time away from your auction schedule to answer a few questions!

As of right now, there are seven auctions live at Slave Lake Book Auction and more on the way. Here are links for those currently available for bidding:

Auction #1 – signed copy of The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Auction #2 Signed ARC of Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Auction #3 Pretty Little Liars book & CD signed by cast!

Auction #4 Signed copy Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Auction # 5 Signed hardcover of Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong

Auction #6 Signed copy of The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

Auction #7 Signed copy Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau & character name in the sequel!