The House That Herman Built

Standard

letters

Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch is now exhibiting a powerful collaboration between New Orleans-based artist Jackie Sumell and former prisoner and Black Panther, Herman Wallace. Wallace was a member of the Angola 3, who was wrongfully convicted of the 1972 murder of a prison guard; likely framed due to their political activism. Wallace spent nearly 42 years in solitary confinement and died just days after his conviction was overturned. The project Wallace worked on with Sumell began when she asked him, “What sort of house does a man who has lived in a 6-foot-by-9-foot cell for over 30 years dream of?”

The House That Herman Built is an on-going project that began as an exchange between two individuals and has expanded into an international art exhibition, a book, a documentary film, and is now in the fundraising stages of building Herman Wallace’s dream home in the city of New Orleans. The exhibit includes a life-sized replica of Wallace’s prison cell, selections from his correspondence with Sumell, books from his reading list, and, now in the library’s main lobby, a model of the dream house that he designed. In the wake of his death, this project, in all of its forms, speaks to Herman’s struggle and the struggle of all people forced to endure wrongful convictions and the inhumane conditions of long term solitary confinement. Go see it at BPL or take a look at the video below put out by Democracy Now!

http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2015/4/17/watch_art_exhibit_recreates_tiny_cell

9/19 Books Through Bars NYC’s annual bingo fundraiser at ABC No Rio!

Standard

NYC Books Through Bars is an all volunteer-run collective that sends free books to incarcerated people across the country. Join them and the folks at ABC No Rio at their annual bingo fundraiser September 19, 2014. Doors open at 7:30pm and games begin at 8! Face Book event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/289708914546972/

Bingo cards will go for $2 each and $5 for three cards. All the proceeds from the event will be used directly on postage to send books to prisoners. Please bring a pen to help you notate bingo.

Throughout the evening, we will be raffling prizes from The IFC Center, Gristle Tattoo, SHAG sex shop, Babeland, Pioneers Press, Pok Pok Restaurant, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Book Thug Nation, The Feminist Press, Cinnamon Snail Food Truck, Interference Archive, Verso Books, Terri Restaurant, Third Root Community Center, NYC Trapeze School, Just Seeds Arts Collective, AMC (TV network), Criterion Films, New York Public Library, and more.

ABC No Rio (and their Zine Library! ) is accessible by the F, J, M, and Z trains off the Delancey-Essex Street stop. If you cannot make it to bingo night, please consider donating to Books Through Bars NYC here: http://www.booksthroughbarsnyc.org/#!donate/c1ghi. You can donate money, stamps, packing supplies, or books. Just $10 can send three book packages to three prisoners.

BTB

Save the Date! Biblioball 2012: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Standard

Press shot for Biblioball 2009: Baby It’s Cold Outside

As posted in Flavorpill: “New York’s favorite librarian collective returns to the Bell house for their annual bash to help benefit Literacy for Incarcerated Teens. Every year The Desk Set fills the room with bespectacled folks who dance the night away, leading up to the midnight raffle that has featured prizes from books to new bikes. This year, 50% of all the raffle’s proceeds will go towards Urban Librarians Unite’s Sandy Children’s Book Relief Fund, so basically everything you do at the Biblioball helps out somebody who needs it. Also DJ sets from DJ Duane Harriott, Brian Blackout, John XI, Marty McSorley, and Mikey Post, a photo-booth, and lots of librarians. Seriously, what more could you ask for?”

When: Saturday Dec 8, 2012 (8pm–midnight)
Where: The Bell House, 149 7th St., Brooklyn
See you on the dance floor!

Guardian pines over loss of 500 UK libraries

Standard

Between the lines: a reader at the British Museum library in 1952 Photograph: Bert Hardy/Getty

As local authority budgets are reduced by the government’s cuts in Britain, up to 500 libraries around the country will have to close. With the axe about to fall, Bella Bathurst reveals just what is about to be lost. Books not antidepressants, the erotic charge of bookmobiles, and a resident book-eater are discussed.

The libraries’ most powerful asset is the conversation they provide – between books and readers, between children and parents, between individuals and the collective world. Take them away and those voices turn inwards or vanish. Turns out that libraries have nothing at all to do with silence.

Biblioball 2010 : Spellbound

Standard

This year's Biblioball tickets will be sold, from lowest to highest prices, in paperback, hardcover, and leatherbound (featured here).

On December 4th, be sure to find yourself among the bibliophiles at the Desk Set’s third annual Biblioball, the winter formal dance party for the well-read and the well-attired.

Saturday, December 4, 2010 at The Bell House

7:30 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.

Tickets $10 – $55

Purchase tickets now! All proceeds benefit Literacy for Incarcerated Teens.

Prisoners Right to Read Incorporated Into ALA’s Library Bill of Rights

Standard

The Library Bill of Rights are statements of basic principles adopted by the ALA Council that govern the service of all libraries, ranging from the rights of youth to service to diversity in collection development. The Library Bill of Rights can be found in the Intellectual Freedom Manual, Eighth Edition, available online. Newly incorporated to the Bill is the Prisoners Right to Read (Adopted by the ALA Council, July 2010) underlining the following selected principles as guidelines to all library services provided to prisoners:

* Collection management should be governed by written policy, mutually agreed upon by librarians and correctional agency administrators, in accordance with the Library Bill of Rights, its Interpretations, and other
ALA intellectual freedom documents.

* Correctional libraries should have written procedures for addressing challenges to library materials, including a policy-based description of the disqualifying features, in accordance with “Challenged Materials” and other relevant intellectual freedom documents.

* Correctional librarians should select materials that reflect the demographic composition, information needs, interests, and diverse cultural values of the confined communities they serve.

* Age is not a reason for censorship. Incarcerated children and youth should have access to a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, as stated in “Free Access to Libraries for Minors.”

* Correctional librarians should make all reasonable efforts to provide sufficient materials to meet the information and recreational needs of prisoners who speak languages other than English.

* Equitable access to information should be provided for persons with disabilities as outlined in “Services to People with Disabilities.”

* Media or materials with non-traditional bindings should not be prohibited unless they present an actual compelling and imminent risk to safety and security.

* Material with sexual content should not be banned unless it violates state and federal law.

* Correctional libraries should provide access to computers and the Internet.