Call for Librarians

Dear Colleagues,

Greetings from the librarians of #occupywallstreet!

We write today to invite you to help build the People’s Library. We are working together to build a library for both the people of the city and for those who have joined the occupation. We are a mixed bunch of librarians and library-loving individuals who strongly support the #occupy movement and who also know that information is liberation. We liberate through knowledge. If you want to know more about #occupywallstreet and the #occupy movement please read the Principles of Solidarity and the Declaration of Occupation.

Right now need many different kinds of donations. We need books of resistance and people’s history. We need economics and finance books. We need contemporary philosophy and ecology. We need DIY books.  We especially need non-English books and materials for low literacy readers. Print outs of free stuff from the web are valuable to us– I personally handed out at least two copies of Citizens United on Saturday before the march. Also, we’re a free lending library operating on the honors system, so our materials come and go rather rapidly; multiple copies are always welcome. On that note, we need as many copies of “A People’s History of the United States” by Zinn as possible. We simply can’t keep a copy in stock as there are so many people who want to read it.

On a practical note, we are an outside library so we have some operational challenges. We are using plastic boxes and tarps to protect our materials. However, our collection is growing by leaps and bounds each day and we need more boxes and more tarps to protect our materials. Any you can send us would be welcome and put to good use.

We also need you. Our collection is growing rapidly and we need help organizing it and keeping it orderly. We want to save the time of our readers, but to do that we need help marking, sorting, and shelving materials. We need help building our catalog and writing our history. Our readers are enthusiastic and some of them need help finding the right book. The right book for the right reader is fundamental to successful librarianship, so we need public services folks to come out and conduct reference interviews with people and help them find “their” book. The Library is constantly evolving and changing and we invite you to be a part of it.

You can send donations to:

Occupy Wall Street/Library Committee
118A Fulton St. #205
New York, NY 10038

In Solidarity,
Simmons ’03

7 responses to “Call for Librarians

  1. Pingback: Occupy Wall Street and The People’s Library « Reading Irresponsibly!

  2. rimar

    If Occupy Wall St. is influenced by Tahrir Sq. and Egyptians have Fatimids heritage ergo!
    Introducing the most famous hero among Arabs Who fought all his life for Justice against the greedy and corrupt would be important to 99% in America, No?
    The book is aritten by a Lebanese Christian about this towering figure who no one would ever surpass him in the history of mankind!
    Hear what Khalil Gibran has to say:
    In my view, he was the first Arab to have contact with and converse with the universal soul. He died a martyr of his greatness, he died while prayer was between his two lips. The Arabs did not realise his value until appeared among their Persian neighbors some who knew the difference between gems and gravels.
    Knowing Ali (‘a) Will Aid Us! Get Aid!

  3. This is brilliant. Do you know if there are similar calls for #occupysf or #occupyoakland? I’m in the Bay Area, and would like to help.

  4. Julia

    Hey guys!
    I hope you made it through last night/this morning’s ordeal relatively unscathed. I’m trying to rally some fellow librarians to help out over the weekend and in the upcoming week.

    Keep up the great work!!!!
    Pratt MLIS ’10

  5. Dan

    please don’t donate to this organization. instead, use that money to donate to people who have real needs, like homeless shelters, food banks, etc.

    • sophia marisa

      Dear Dan,

      Thanks for your comment. I would personally agree that we are all morally obligated to donate to those in need. I would clarify that in our current collective socio-economic state, the majority of us are in some time of need due to unjust cause, and many who are lucky enough to self-identify as otherwise and are skating by against the grain of the majority-cannot do so sustainably and indefinitely. So, first, by all means, people should donate to the severely poor and homeless. Just today a woman came to the library and offered a donation of a few hundred books which she had recently purged from her collection. Another librarian deferred to me and I told her that her donation might be more appropriate as a gift to Housing Works, but that if she had the time to select texts that would have particular relevance to the OWS community, that we would appreciate them. Second, the not-quite poor, the 18% of NY youth who are unemployed and in debt, need a future, and one that the status quo cannot provide them with. People are losing their homes and telling their children to drop out of school because they cannot afford these basic needs. OWS represents the currently, recently, probably and soon to be homeless. There are no guarantees for anyone in the 99%.

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