Apr. 30 LIVE guest Junot Diaz talks to Bill Moyers about how having access to libraries changed his life: “This is part of our civic resources. This belongs to all of us. You can do what you will, as long as you do no harm.”
Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card! Apply for your FREE NYPL card today and pick it up at tomorrow’s write-in. We’ll have laptops available for renting and writing. But, please note, if you’re bringing your own, outlets aren’t available in the Salomon room, so make sure you come fully charged.
Upcoming LIVE guest Marcus Samuelsson knows how great libraries are! (especially NYPL!)
This is so fantastic. Libraries provide consumable ideas and aids for consumption. Sometimes our needs can come in the way of being able to visit the library purely for the pleasure of books. With it being the only safe, free, public space for intellectual progression, the library is becoming more and more “practical” by providing classes, computers, and now kitchen items for lending. What do you wish your library had? And conversely, are there any potential collection materials that could jeopardize a library’s function?
Go to work. Get your money. And come on home.
You don’t live there.
Toni Morrison quoting her father at NYPL in conversation with Angela Davis, 2010
If you want more Maira, watch her team up with Daniel Handler in singing an ode to libraries! The refrain: “Without libraries, we’d be dumb.” So true.
Today, in 1972, Angela Davis was acquitted of charges for conspiracy, murder and kidnapping after being accused of supplying weapons to Jonathan Jackson. While in jail, fellow civil rights activists and Black Panther Party members rallied for her release:
Davis came to LIVE in October of 2010 for one of our biggest landmark events to talk with Toni Morrison about the importance of libraries.
ANGELA DAVIS: I was in jail in New York—I don’t know, did you mention that I was in jail? Some people don’t know. And one of the first places I went, I was able to go, in the jail was the library, and I didn’t see very many interesting books there, all right? I mean, I had just finished my studies in philosophy, and I went to the library expecting something very different, so what I did was I had people send books to me when I was there, and I wanted to share those books with all of the other women, there was something like a thousand women there. I was not allowed to do that. As a matter of fact, in the library there was a big cardboard box.
I could receive the books and I could read the books myself. It was okay for me read them, but don’t share them. And one of them was George Jackson’s book, Soledad Brothers, that was not allowed at all, although we did—you know, one of the things I learned when I was in jail there was how to secrete certain kinds of things, so we were able to—so we had these clandestine reading groups with books that were smuggled out of that box in the library, and it kind of reminded me of Frederick Douglass and Frederick Douglass’s effort to get an education, to learn how to read, and his idea that education really was liberation.
|—||New Zadie Smith essay, “The North West London Blues”, in which she says all the right things about libraries, the state, and us.|
Here’s the first favorite LIVE photo of the day: the inimitable John Waters in Bryant Park on June 7, 2010.
“Everybody is saying that they like the library. Well, most of you had your first sexual experience at the library, that’s why you like it. When I was young, glory holes and book reports went together, I’ll tell you. I guess it’s different these days…. Let me talk about Tennessee Williams first, though. I used to go to the library, and I wanted to get Tennessee Williams books, and they wouldn’t give it to a kid then. They’d say, we can’t give it to you, you have to see a librarian, so I had to steal the books, something I’m very against—stealing from librarians. But it’s really important, and I think today it’s a lot easier to give a kid a book he wants. I think that if in this library, an eight-year-old kid comes in and says he wants to read Dennis Cooper. If he’s heard of Dennis Cooper, give him the goddamn book.”
Watch/listen to the event here…