The Living Library: Beyond Stereotypes

"The Materiality of Outsider Libraries and the Trouble They Bring"

The Living Library Keynote Address

May 14, 2018 2:00 PM to May 14, 2018 3:00 PM at University Library Grand Reading Room (3rd floor)

Public libraries are actively swapping their physical book collections for digital texts and remodeling their stacks as makerspaces. Physical books, these institutions tell us, can easily be accessed online and read using the phone in your pocket, and physical space is better used for collaborative activities. Yet at the same time, "outsider" libraries are on the rise. These are spaces in public places comprised of anywhere from a dozen to hundreds or even thousands of physical books. Examples include the popular Little Free Libraries, libraries within political protests like Occupy Wall Street and 15M, and even an underpass library run by and for homeless people in Toronto. Sherrin Frances' talk will examine why people go to so much trouble to create physical libraries despite the fact that, at least at first glance, they seem to be more trouble than they are worth.

Dr. Frances is an Associate Professor of English at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan where she teaches rhetoric and composition. Her forthcoming book, Spine: Libraries Amid Protest, explores the role of pop-up libraries within political encampments around the world between 2011 and 2016.

Headshot of Sherrin Frances

In conjunction with The Living Library: Beyond Stereotypes event on Wednesday, May 16, join the University Library, English & Foreign Languages, Interdisciplinary General Education, Communication, Counseling & Psychological Services, and the Office of Equity, Inclusion, & Compliance for this exciting talk.