The People's Library and Paper Collective will work with a multitude of individuals and community partners to start a People’s Library storefront on the Germantown Business Corridor that will serve as (1) a command center for expungement workshops, legal clinics and other interventions that engage collectively with the causes, effects, and alternatives to social justice issues in North Philadelphia; and (2) a start-up creative business and workforce- development program where re-entry adults and youth create hand-made fine papers and books from discarded paper-based material, author community histories, host open-mic spoken word and poetry readings, and lead weekly writing clubs that encourage dialogue with incarcerated friends and family.
We met our friend Mary Clare at a workshop we were holding at Columbia University. She and Julie, a local history librarian, met at the event and have since acquired a grant together to start a version of the project in Chicago. Hurray! If you're in the area, please find them and say hello, and check out the great work they are doing!
More info at:
Branches are starting up all over!!
One of the most exciting aspects of the project is that we have not, like a traditional art object, created something discreet and finite. Instead, what we hope is that we've created a flexible blueprint, a rough draft, a project that suggests the possibility of locally specific replication. From Philadelphia, NY, Chicago and Oakland, CA other artists, librarians, and activists are utilizing the People's Library model to do their own project. As the project's develop we'll be including information and links below. Check them out! And, importantly, if you're interested, start your own People's Library branch in your town or city!
Interested in starting your own branch?
Here's a free pdf detailing the "how, where, why, and with whom" from our branch in Richmond, VA.