It’s been fascinating to watch the rise of libraries at the various Occupy sites around the world, particularly the impressively-large collection at Occupy Wall Street known as the People’s Library. We reached out and suggested a LibraryThing account for the collection, and the volunteer librarians in Zucotti Park responded enthusiastically.
The OWSLibrary catalog now includes more than 3,300 titles, and it’s quite a rich and varied collection (check out the tag mirror). We’ve got a Talk thread where members are posting the books they share with the library; as of this morning, I share 100 titles with them, everything from E.O. Wilson to Annie Dillard to Strunk & White. If you’re signed into LibraryThing, you can see what you share with the OWS Library here.
The OWSLibrary folks also have an active blog, Twitter, and Flickr presence (they’ve even got library stamps!). Many authors have visited to speak, lend support, and sign books, and there’s now even an Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology.
More than 1,300 writers have signed the Occupy Writers petition in support of the Occupy movement, including Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Junot Díaz and more.
You can read some good coverage of the Occupy library movement in American Libraries, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Wall Street Journal.
On Friday, local librarian JustinTheLibrarian, Tim and I went downtown on our lunch break and cataloged the Occupy Maine library, a small collection housed at Portland’s Spartan Grill restaurant (which also serves a very tasty gyro).
Occupy Sacramento’s library is also up on LibraryThing, and we’ve been in touch with various other Occupy libraries; if your city’s library joins up, we’d love to know about it!
While you may agree or disagree with the Occupy movement as a whole, we think what they’re doing with books and libraries is simply awesome. And we’re very happy to be a part of it.