What does "Often Free" mean? Well, we're trying really hard to keep expenses low so that we don't have to pass any unnecessary costs onto our members or members of the public that might visit us. So far we've been really successful at that. Thus, we've not had to charge for any of our presentations, or study groups.
Of course there are other costs involved. For instance when we meet at Caribou or Panera, visitors might have costs for food or drink. We leave that responsibility up to each person on their own though. In addition we recommend purchasing certain books (like the Oreilly Pocket Guides) because they help with your study. Those likewise must be a burden of the individual.
However we might find the need to pre-purchase some of these books in bulk. Then they will be available to the users directly, for checkout, or purchase. Were we to do so, we would ask only the exact price that we had paid. Besides that we might create other materials, and we'd request those that could afford to pay for the cost of producing their materials only.
Hope that helps explains for any that have any questions.
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