The essence of the People-to-people Library is a community of people sharing books and ideas with other people. Such a community creates an opportunity for, and can be supported by, activities and projects that facilitate the sharing of books and ideas. A few of the project ideas floating around the People-to-people Library are briefly described below. You can support these projects:
- Declare your interest in participating. Let us know which projects you would engage with if/when they become a reality; which would you most like to see happen? Projects that are of most value to our community will be the ones that are given the most time and energy.
- Join a working group. Most of these ideas are one or two volunteer organizers away from the people power they need to succeed. You can be that people power as part of a group responsible for the project.
- Give a few hours of your time. The organizing groups for these projects will need help. Your time, even just a couple hours, is warmly welcomed.
- A coffee shop conversation. Those involved in helping/coordinating these projects would like to talk with people who have suggestions, critiques and ideas to share. We could meet in a coffee shop, and we’ll even buy your coffee 🙂
To give any of the above described support to any of the below described projects, please post your intention to do so on our facebook group, librarything group or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are eight ideas that could become a reality soon:
- Monthly Book Sharing Events: Regular, free and open events that bring people together to share books. Opportunity here for many different types of events: Coffee Shop Book Swaps, ‘Recommended Read’ Speed Dating, Potluck-Booklucks (share food and books!), ‘Unconferences’ / ‘Open Space Forums’ on books we think important, simple meet ups in a park or classroom, and more.
- Book clubs / learning groups: By facilitating the sharing of multiple copies of the same book, or multiple books on common themes and issues, the People-to-people Library can build a hub of books (and articles, films, etc.) that can be read or studied in groups. People wishing to organize such a group around a specific book could be supported by the library in finding community members willing to share the book. The library could also provide help in the initial promotion and organization of reading and learning groups.
- Free Little Libraries: People all over the world are setting up Free Little Libraries in their communities. We should build some of these, fill them with books and place them in public places around St. John’s and other communities in NL!
- ‘Community Recommended Reads’ Newsletter or Blog: What books do the people love? Which books do local community leaders and activists recommend? Which books are currently being talked about in local unions, churches, businesses, university classrooms, coffee shops, non-profits, government offices, pubs and other public spaces? Wouldn’t it be great if these questions could be answered in a newsletter or blog? It could be as simple as regularly asking people throughout our community to write 200 words about a book they recommend and then publishing those words.
- An awesome online catalogue: The People-to-people Library is cataloguing the books of all its members on librarything.com. To make this online catalogue truly effective as a facilitator of book sharing, idea spreading and people connecting, we need some ‘digital librarians’. Central lists need to be updated, books effectively tagged and members supported in creating their personal catalogues.
- Pop-up Libraries: We successfully popped up our first pop-up library at the Community Garden Alliance Summer Solstice Fundraiser. We spread about 50 books out on a table, and welcomed passers by to freely browse and borrow. It was a great way to share books with the public. These sorts of pop-up libraries could happen at all sorts of events around NL: farmers markets, music festivals, rallies and protests, public lectures. They could also just pop-up randomly in public spaces.
- Local Organization Libraries: There are lots of local organizations that have many members with books. These groups could set up their own “branches” of a People-to-people Library. For example, the members of Amnesty International could set up a Human Rights Library or the Community Garden Alliance could set up a Gardening and Local Food Security Library. Such ‘Organization Libraries’ could give members new opportunities to connect with each other, could attract new people to the organization and could facilitate intra-group learning. The People-to-people Library could help local organizations set up online catalogues, promote their libraries to the public and find books being shared by others in NL that are relevant to their group.
- A Children’s People-to-people Library: The people-to-people, including child-to-child sharing of children’s books with themes such as community, living in harmony with nature, caring families, diversity, social responsibility, accepting and loving oneself. Events connected to this “library” could provide children with experiences and practice in sharing and reflecting on a book’s message. Through collaboration with appropriate community organizations, books with important and positive messages could be made available to many families and children.
- Bonus: Of course, the People-to-people Library is a community resource created by and for its members. If you have an library related idea you’d like to see happen, share it with the rest of us!