How do conversations about shelving books, funding patterns, the colour of public library walls, and library membership patterns intersect? As librarians, educators and activists, our work is rooted in our belief that access to books and reading is a fundamental right, and that every community should have a library that is free and open to all.
This work raises questions and concerns, and the Free Libraries Network is a space to think this through collectively. It is envisioned as a platform to connect free libraries and library movements across India so that we may support one another, enhance thinking about library practices, and become a resource-sharing hub. We also hope that it will be a space to discuss social and political ideas related to free libraries as well as the challenges and high points of running them.
Currently an online network of over a hundred library activists working across the country in different spaces and contexts, we are heading towards thinking about our objectives as a collective, about what being part of a network could mean for our future work and for a broader imagination of a network of communities, fuelled by community libraries.
The network currently exists as a private group on Facebook. If you are interested in participating in discussions, and to submit your application you can visit our website or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.