Libraries amid Protest: Books, Organizing, and Global Activism

Libraries amid Protest: Books, Organizing, and Global Activism

by Sherrin Frances
Libraries amid Protest: Books, Organizing, and Global Activism

Libraries amid Protest: Books, Organizing, and Global Activism

by Sherrin Frances

Hardcover(First Edition)

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In September 2011, Occupy Wall Street activists took over New York's Zuccotti Park. Within a matter of weeks, the encampment had become a tiny model of a robust city, with its own kitchen, first aid station, childcare services—and a library of several thousand physical books. Since that time, social movements around the world, from Nuit Debout in Paris to Gezi Park in Istanbul, have built temporary libraries alongside their protests. While these libraries typically last only a few weeks at a time and all have ultimately been dismantled or destroyed, each has managed to collect, catalog, and circulate books, serving a need not being met elsewhere.

Libraries amid Protest unpacks how these protest libraries—labor-intensive, temporary installations in parks and city squares, poorly protected from the weather, at odds with security forces—continue to arise. In telling the stories of these surprising and inspiring spaces through interviews and other research, Sherrin Frances confronts the complex history of American public libraries. She argues that protest libraries function as the spaces of opportunity and resistance promised, but not delivered, by American public libraries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625344908
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date: 05/17/2020
Series: Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

SHERRIN FRANCES is associate professor of English at Saginaw Valley State University.

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionCH 1, The emergence of protest librariesCH 2, The visual rhetoric of librariesCH 3, Space, behavior, and tensionCH 4, Circulation of capital(ism)CH 5, Ideology and nationalismCH 6, Adaptability and patternsCH 7, Assembling collectivesConclusion

What People are Saying About This

Gregory Sholette

I know of no other study that provides such a crucial historical chronicle about book culture within Occupy Wall Street and the movement of the squares. It's almost as if the author pried open a previously inaccessible archive of dissident knowledge and invited us inside.

Cheryl Knott

Libraries amid Protest tells an important story about the physical, intellectual, and emotional heft of the collections of books that sprang into existence at sites of resistance during the 2010s. It presents a new perspective on the multilayered activities that make up protest movements and asks us to broaden our understanding of the symbolic and material significance of libraries.

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