The People’s Library

With the eviction of the protesters on Wall Street came the dismantling of their library and the 5,000 books that made it up. It was initially reported that they had been destroyed, but thankfully they have simply been relocated to storage.

(Photo by Cory Doctorow)

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6 thoughts on “The People’s Library

  1. Apparently the Department of Sanitation made them cross check every single book against their librarything catalog, and ~half of the collection was missing. I’m hearing listserv rumors about a “draft resolution condemning the destruction of the Peoples’ Library slowly making its way through the AL A Council,” which hopefully, will be true. I think one of the many, smaller messages of the movement will be that libraries are not and cannot be the neutral, impartial establishments they have historically tried to be.

    Have you been to Providence at all? (I haven’t, not since the initial march anyways). I’ve helped out at the Occupy Boston library a little, but I don’t have a whole lot of extra time these days. I was just wondering if Providence had any library action going on.

    Hope you aren’t weirded out that I’m reading your blog; I’m just trying to build a few more RI libraryland contacts!

    • Hi! Thanks for the additional info, and no, I’m not weirded out at all, I’m flattered! 🙂 Also, I think your take on the neutrality of libraries is really interesting; I’m not sure I completely agree, since most libraries I’ve come across usually try to provide a balanced collection, or at least talk about doing so in their collection development policies. But then again, there is almost nothing in the world that is truly neutral and impartial, and just because you offer counter-arguments to hot topics doesn’t mean that your community will embrace them, and the community’s interests and needs are the ultimate deciding factor. Clearly, this is the case for the Occupy libraries as well. I just think it’s an added shame that so many non-political books may have been lost in the shuffle, or (worse) intentionally discarded.

      I have not been to Occupy Providence yet – I was supposed to go last week but life got in the way. I have been in touch with several people via the FB page and website about the status of their library, and it’s definitely happening. They were given a donation by at least one used book store last week, and they’re working on building their physical structures currently! I’m hoping to stop by and assist this weekend/next week.

      How is/was Occupy Boston??

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