Talking back to the public library: measuring and conceptualizing the little free library movement

Title

Talking back to the public library: measuring and conceptualizing the little free library movement

Description

In just one decade, North Americans and others have taken their own initiative to create and maintain an estimated 12,000-plus little free libraries right in their front yards. In the U.S., these “take a book, leave a book” boxes harken back 100 years to when the new library profession organized their libraries to deliver books to factories, shops, community centers, construction sites, and even railyards frequented by hoboes. Little free libraries also resemble in some ways the people’s libraries that emerged on the 2011-2012 Occupy sites as that movement challenged the 1% on behalf of the 99%. Protestors and police saw these as guerrilla libraries; police and legal action ensued, rallying many librarians. Using GIS and US Census data, we analyze the US little free libraries in relation to residential patterns to see who they are most likely serving. We study seven more closely and find out what is circulating. Judging by our alumni, librarians love these little book exchanges. Measured against the library science canon from Ranganathan to Wiegand, what does this renaissance of libraries and reading say to the 16,500 government-funded public libraries across the United States? What can the global profession learn from this surging movement?

Creator

Williams, Kate

Publisher

Chinese American Librarians Association

Date

2016-05-13

Contributor

Whitacre, James; Samuel, Noah; Hartman, Elizabeth C. Budz, Alecandra M. Cawley, Katherine A. ; Gebil, Salem A. ; Greeling, Kelly Y. ; Henry, Victoria E. Jones, Brittany S. ; Kim, Jenna; Luna, Amanda M. ; Purcell, Emily C. ; Wheelhouse, Paul A.

Rights

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Language

eng

Type

text

Coverage

United States

Is Part Of

2016 CALA Midwest Chapter Annual Conference "Innovate! Advocate! Integrate! – Reinvigorating Your Library in a Digital Age"

Position: 375 (154 views)

Files

2016 CALA MW_williams.pdf

Citation

Williams, Kate , “Talking back to the public library: measuring and conceptualizing the little free library movement,” CALASYS - CALA Academic Resources & Repository System, accessed January 31, 2023, https://ir.cala-web.org/items/show/177.