Armchair Activism for February - build up your local library in three easy steps
There is something you can do right now to build up and nourish your community long-term. You can do it from any computer - or in person if you’re feeling adventurous. There is no cost to you.
It’s easy to do and I’ll walk you through it right now.
Go to your library’s website.
Look for a link called “request an acquisition”, “suggest a book for our collection” or “suggest a purchase”. (see below for examples)
Review the process, then start picking out books to add to your local library.
You’ll want to check the library catalog first and see if they have a book before requesting. If you don’t have a title in mind, here are some great suggestions:
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (ISBN 978-1101911761)
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (ISBN 978-0062282712)
Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis (ISBN 978-1608465644)
If they’re able to buy it and when they inform you it’s come in, check it out! The library tracks what does and doesn’t circulate, and you’ll add shelf life to the purchase.
In case you’re worried, I personally asked a bunch of librarians and:
They love it when you make suggestions
You won’t get penalized for asking for things or for too many things.
Do it today. Do it before February is over. Consider doing it every month. I’ll remind you. It’s a way to support your library - a radical resource - and your community.
For many of us this is a no-risk action. They will likely ask for contact and residence information from you. If you do not have all of the legal documentation required to officially reside where you currently live, please consider whether giving your personal information is safe before pursuing this idea.
I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.
I really wish I lived near one of those beautiful big libraries with red brick architecture, towering wooden shelves and spiral staircases, but in reality my local library is two portacabins screwed together.