Your Local People’s Library Branch

Would you like to open a People’s Library branch in your neighborhood? WNYC’s Brian Leher Show and The New York World are collaborating on a map of all the Privately-Owned Public Spaces (POP) in New York. Zucotti Park (Liberty Plaza), for example, is a POP.

One of the amazing things about the Occupy movement is how the model is open source and free. You can take what we’re doing at OWS and set it up wherever you are. That also applies to the People’s Library model. What we’ve built here is a set of practices that can be deployed wherever you are. So, if you’d like to open a branch of the People’s Library in your New York neighborhood, find a POP, bring down some books and meet your neighbors. It all starts with a few books in a box.


Filed under OccupyLibraries, POP, Privatization, Process, Rob

7 responses to “Your Local People’s Library Branch

  1. Pingback: Biblioteca diffusa, biblioteca umana « Questo blog non esiste

  2. I love this idea! Had thought of doing it in our local playgrounds — even just setting it up and taking it down each day. We’ve been doing Occupy the Playground with Music lately. Why not with books as well?

  3. radicalibrarian

    ok honest question here. why the need for “the people’s library” part of the occupy movement? why the need to fill the role of a public library? is it that they want books onsite of the protest? is it because nypl hasn’t cooperated with them for some reason? is it because nypl cannot become supportive for political reasons? or even more simply, for staffing reasons?

    it is kind of like someone said, “you know what we need? we need a place where people can check out books for free so they can learn about why this movement is so important!” if only that existed! i guess i just dont understand why the public library system could not be encouraged to provide that role. it can certainly be called the people’s library, as well.

    please know that i do not intend to come across as defensive. i DO happen to think that public libraries are amazingly fantastic and i wish i could help everyone understand this. i am simply a curious library student that supports the occupy movement. in the end, the more books that are in people’s hands, the better. that is what is most important.

    • Michael

      I’m sure that everyone will have great responses that answer your question, but I’d like to pose a few questions in response to frame why it’s hard for me to answer. Why does OWS need a kitchen? There are soup kitchens and restaurants and food carts all over new york. Why does OWS need a medical tent? NY has hospitals and doctors offices and low-cost and free clinics. Why does OWS need a media group? NY has public radio stations and public TV stations. And so on…

      • radicalibrarian

        I am also talking to some folks on the Progressive Librarian’s Guild list that are making some good arguments. People in from out of town have equal access, the need for books to be readily available in such a hotbed of intellectual activity, etc. And, of course, I know NYPL cannot get involved in any official capacity. It was more just a curiosity at the creating branches in neighborhoods (not just in the park). I would just hate for the public library (and their branches) to be overlooked as a valuable resource. Public libraries are there to combat some of the very issues at the heart of the protest. But I am a long way from the NYC trenches… I know some of you on the front lines will have an opinion on this. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity!

  4. Pingback: Build a Digital People’s Library - GalleyCat

  5. Does Brian Leher know he can come down to the People’s Library and consult the book _Privately Owned Public Spaces: the New York City Experience_, compiled by Jerold S. Kayden, the NYC Dept of Public Planning, and the Municipal Art Society, which gives a history of privately owned public space in NYC, as well as cataloging all those spaces? It’s in our reference section!

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