#OWS and LibrarianshipPosted: 03 Nov 2011
A library was established in Zuccotti Park at the very start of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, and it has received a good deal of attention. Several more sprang up as the protests spread. With the occupation movement, decentralized improvisation is the name of the game, so it’s impossible to tell just how many libraries have sprung up. But they exist in Boston and Philadelphia, in Portland, Ore. and Halifax, Nova Scotia, among other places. They are staffed by a mixture of professional librarians and activist volunteers, with “stacks” created through donations from publishers, bookstores, and individuals. – Scott McLemee Guerrilla Librarians in Our Midst
The Occupy Wall Street protests are, by far, the most exciting populist movement in the United States in a long time – and certainly since I have been politically conscious. I have always viewed libraries as subversive and an exercise in social justice. So, it is no surprise that a lot of librarians are getting involved in the movement and bringing their passion for the free-flow of information with them.
There is also a lot that librarians can learn from the protesters. There is no shortages of lessons that struggling libraries can try to take with them to their community – from the nature of community space and how it is used/viewed, social interconnectivity and democratic involvement and coordination. Remember, libraries were built for the 99%.