Such an exciting day for me today at the library!
James and Kristen set up the space extremely awesomely yesterday. I just prettified the space some and did some more scanning of materials for our LibraryThing catalog, and also so that we have a record of what was in the library in case it experiences similar challenges that other Occupy libraries have experienced. I choose to call them challenges consciously since they did NOT stop the work of the amazing people working in those people’s libraries.
Today I found a number of comics and zines in donations, as well as some health books and some reference books. I made and labeled shelf sections for them.
I also put a blank book in the space and labeled it People’s Library Wishlist. Let us know what materials you’d like us to try to track down. We want to be useful to you!
If you’ve visited the library at camp, you’ve probably noticed a great abundance of books and a distinct absence of librarians. Unfortunately, many of us can’t be there nearly as often as we’d like. We’re going to try to start the occasional shift in the camp library, but in the meantime, never fear! There are Occubrarians out there, ready to answer your questions!
Radical Reference is a great resource for questions about the issues the Occupy movement is addressing.
“Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library workers who believe in social justice and equality. We support activist communities, progressive organizations, and independent journalists by providing professional research support, education and access to information. We work in a collaborative virtual setting and are dedicated to information activism to foster a more egalitarian society.”
Maybe you remember these guys from the G20 protests — the Pittsburgh collective put together a great information packet for activists, which folks may still find useful.
For general reference questions — not specifically Occupy-related — there is the Internet Public Library. Not only do they have a vast collection of vetted online resources, they have an “Ask an ipl2 Librarian” feature staffed by hundreds of volunteer professionals. Responses generally take a few days but tend to be quite thorough.
Living at camp and/or don’t have Internet access? The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Downtown & Business branch is just a couple blocks away on Smithfield and open Monday through Friday. With a library card, you can get free Internet access, as well as access to a number of research databases. And you can have any item in the county-wide library system delivered to the branch of your choice. Signing up for a card is free, too!
Got a question or comment about the People’s Library of Pittsburgh itself? Want to volunteer as an Occubrarian? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.