Category Archives: Media

“. . . and Beyond”

I’m thrilled that the New York Times covered the opening of #OccupyBoston’s library. It’s an important story, worth being written about – in fact we wrote about it back when it happened. What I can’t figure out is how the New York Times has managed to do such an amazing job of dismissing the occupation of Liberty Plaza right here in their own back yard?

From the start, their first coverage of #OccupyWallStreet was dismissive, historically ignorant, shallow, pompous and to borrow a phrase from the Portland Mercury describing the same writers’ work on another story: “awesomely out-of-touch.”

And now, they have actually printed a claim that our library is disorganized. We stand in complete solidarity with #OccupyBoston and their library, we love them – they’re family. But that claim is just silly, and the Times has a responsibility to look into claims like that and offer their own reporting before they print misinformation. Here are some facts to help them out.

Here at The People’s Library, we have over 2,000 books. The majority of which are out in the stacks. And all of them are organized by categories such as: Labor, Finance, International Relations, Anthropology, Political Science, Philosophy, Economics, Human Rights, Activism, Religion, Queer Theory, Graphic Novels, Children’s, CDs/DVDs, Anarchist Zines, and more.

Some books are still in our storage unit awaiting the intake process, as we’re receiving donations from individuals and massive shipments from publishers all over the country. Yes intake process. This is because we have an online catalog, and we scan the barcodes of every book we receive, or add the ISBN to a list, or photograph the cover and enter them into a database to produce a historical record of what we’ve been given. That incoming list runs as a feed on our blog, on the sidebar.

We also photograph and document all books donated by authors and their families, and photograph the inscriptions along with images of the daily life of the library, which we upload here. We have reached out to the libraries forming around the country at other occupation sites and have even sent boxes of books to several to help them build their collections.

Since the early days we’ve been setting aside one copy of every zine, pamphlet or artist’s-style edition we receive for archiving – and we’re continuing to host collection boxes for the broader #OccupyWallStreet archives project. We host the Occupy Wall Street Poetry group, and our staff are publishing anthologies of their poetry. Now, we have had to struggle with two impedements to structural development, the NYPD says we aren’t allowed to have “tents” or “structures” so we’ve improvised, and it’s pretty clear our hardworking volunteers have done a damn fine job.

Our work at the library has been covered by American Libraries (the Magazine of the ALA), School Library Journal, the London Review of Books,The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many mainstream media outlets, blogs and sites including local papers like the New York Daily News.

We have a reference desk, and laptops and wireless internet for patrons and we’re expanding every day. We host author readings regularly, and if you come browse our stacks there’s a good chance you’ll run into one of them. But somehow, the New York Times didn’t notice – and our hometown paper went all the way to Boston instead for a story about OccupyLibraries. Maybe they still feel guilty about dismissing the movement and failing to cover it for weeks, and were too ashamed to come by. That’s understandable. So now I just want to say: New York Times, it’s OK, we can forgive you.

Here are driving directions, but I suggest you take the A,C,E from Port Authority or the 1,2,3 from Times Square. Come on down to the “beyond” sometime and say hi. I think you’ll like us.

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Filed under #OccupyBoston, Announcements, Media, Michael, Solidarity

Harmonious

“Amid one of the most dynamic political events in recent American history lies one of the most harmonious of places – a library.

Occupy Wall Street has become known for its animated protests and run-ins with police, but walk inside Zuccotti Park – the movement’s unofficial headquarters – and you get a different story. Organizers have created a medical center, food station, and donation drop-off point. But it’s “The People’s Library” that has become an example of the group’s mission and outside support.” Read more…

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Filed under Media, Michael, Photographs

Your Library in the News

Dan Berrett at The Chronicle of Higher Education writes about the intellectual roots of the movement, links to our catalog and mentions that we’re missing “The Price of Civilization” by Jeffrey D. Sachs. Jeffrey, send us some copies!

Berrett also points out that one of our volunteer librarians Eric was interviewed by Esquire. I hadn’t seen this yet.

We posted the video, but there’s an accompanying article as well! NY Daily news posted their profile of Steve here.

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NY Daily News Profiles Steve S.

The NY Daily News profiles our volunteer librarian/knight in shining armor, Steve. Also, a great video to see how things work at the library. You’ll see many of us in there looking very busy, but be sure to have the sound on, as Steve is eloquent, as always, in his explanation of what’s going on and why we’re there.

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Filed under Media, Michael, Steve S., Video

Solidarity Letter from Occupy Portland Library

During our Library Working Group meeting today, we were thrilled to get a hand delivered letter from the Occupy Portland Library (Oregon). We put the courier on the spot and asked him to read it to us. Here’s the video, as well as the letter. We’re excited to connect with our fellow Occubrarians in Portland (yeah, I know that word is awful, but I’m addicted to it now). Much love and solidarity to you Occupy Library in PDX!

The text reads:

Dear Occupy Wall St.
We stand in solidary with you and wish to share best practices and an open line of contact with your library. Please shoot us an email: [email address]

Much Love,
[signed]

In solidarity, brothers and sisters
[signed]

Much love from Portland! Stay Strong.
[signed]

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Filed under #OccupyPortland, Media, Michael, OccupyLibraries, Photographs, Solidarity, Video

Cleaning up after The Clean Up

Thursday, in preparation for the eviction resistance, the park was cleaned by sanitation and many volunteers. Here the New York Times features a photograph of the area where the library usually sits being scrubbed. This paper was sitting on a table in the spot depicted in the photo. Droste.

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Filed under Media, Michael, Photographs

Private Information, Policing and Social Media

This library is wired. We’re scanning bar codes to intake our books, we’re on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, LibraryThing and more. We’re blogging, we’re using our smart phones and laptops and WiFi hotspots. This movement is wired. We’re using YouTube, livestreams, global voice chat, IRC, projected General Assembly notes, vibe and more. The police are also wired.  Here’s an amazing example of police communicating with the occupation in Boston through Twitter.

In another example, the Portland Police Department put a call out for the Occupy Portland movement to post photos of their officers on their Facebook page. And after the march, the page was full of thank you notes about how respectful the officers were. Compare that to the reports of those arrested at Liberty Plaza for photographing police and drawing a line with chalk to help occupiers and protesters know where to keep the sidewalk clear. However, all of this communication and sharing is going on in primarily private, corporate spaces.

And at the same time all of this online information constitutes the history in progress of this movement against corporatization. This is one of the reasons that open source information is so important. If a company like Twitter or Facebook elected to remove this content, there’s nothing we could do about it – and a part of history, a conversation and a record of the movement would be lost. Alternatively, social media like Diaspora and identi.ca are open and users control their own content. But at the moment, the battles to lay claim to territory in the media space are taking place in the commercial regions of cyberspace, where there are more witnesses, where the reporters are likely to pay attention, where the public is engaged.

As a friend of mine posted to Facebook: “The irony of #OccupyWallStreet so far: The privatization of public space allows for the public protest of privatization.”

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Filed under Cyberspace, Media, Michael, Privatization, Technology

Vinyl

The Village Voice blogs about the records in our collection. We have DVDs and CDs as well. What do you think, do you agree with their picks?

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Filed under Media, Michael, Music

OWS Journal (Issue #2)

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OWS Journal (Issue #1) en Español

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Occupied Wall Street Journal (Issue #1)

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“news that stays news”

The Rumpus visits the library.

Video from the cardboard days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqQRTHQEGNc

Library juice: http://libraryjuicepress.com/blog/?p=3114

Blog coverage: http://travelbetweenthepages.com/2011/10/07/occupy-wall-street/

Kirkus Reviews: http://www.kirkusreviews.com/blog/pop-culture/occupy-wall-street-library/

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Filed under Announcements, Betsy, Media

Your Library, in the News

Here’s a roundup of some media coverage of the library.

Michael Kelley of Libraryjournal.com reports on the library, and information as the root of revolution. The PBS newshour spends time in Liberty Plaza, and includes some video of the library in their report. GalleyCat covers the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) joining the solidarity march and shares our call for librarians. A while back, before the migration to boxes and then plastic boxes, Make magazine noticed a copy of their magazine in our collection. And finally, Talking Points Memo covers some of the technology we’re using.

Seen reporting on the occupy wall street library? Post in the comments and let us know.

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Filed under Media, Michael