Imagine don't exist, but there's this person who thought of them and is trying to convince everyone else about them.

-Borrow books for free? People are going to steal them!
-You can just come in to use a computer? Well that's just going to be abused by freeloaders.
-Staff? Who is going to pay them? Why should my taxes be wasted subsidising access to books for people who haven't saved and bought their own?

How many amazing things do we dismiss? What is our society missing out on?

A is a great example of an institution where humans collaborate with each other for motives beyond profit. It is a place where it is easy for everyone to understand how our relationships with strangers can be more than mere commercial transactions.

A library is, in a way, an space dedicated to knowledge.
It has rules and we observe them out of respect, not fear.
It has experts whose authority is not arbitrary, but knowledge based.

A library is a sanctuary from capitalism.

@pezmico @srslywrong dedicated several podcasts to the exploration of ideas around #LibrarySocialism - applying the concept/mental image of the library to other aspects of life.
Absolutely worth tuning in...

@pezmico @srslywrong you might enjoy utopian comedy / storytelling mixed with thougts on human emancipation and social ecology...

And the wrongboys are pretty new on mastodon - so show them some love :)

@pezmico oh my, this reminds me of when an "entrepreneur guy" on Twitter was like "How about a start up where you pay a certain fee per month and you can borrow books from us!" and all the replies were.... "wow you reinvented libraries but made it bourgeois capitalist :blob_disapproval:

as a librarian for 20 years, couldn't agree more. unfortunately, libraries are under attack and defunded worldwide. knowledge about how to do real research and think critically is pretty much gone. people have all the information in the world available and choose to be ignorant. it's heartbreaking.

Do you commonly interact, in a library, with other customers of the same library? I typically just go there to choose+fetch material, mostly books.

@dj3ei you're right, that's what we do most often too.
But they have story time for toddlers, and singing on other days. There's also occasional workshops at set times. Our central library also has a maker space and some tools you can use, like a sewing machine and little photography stage.

"It has rules and we observe them out of respect, not fear."
What librarians do you have?
We observe them out of both respect and fear.

@pezmico capitalism still pays for libraries and their staff though.

@pezmico So true! If libraries were invented today people would be demanding a business model.

Sitting in one right now... 🥰

@pezmico I'd like a library of things. Especially tools and equipment for hobbies like home-brewing and cheese making. And communal workshops. There are a few around the motu, but I think every community should have one

@DrAli @pezmico That would be so cool! My local library has a bunch of stuff, from free music studios to sewing machines, poster printers, laser cutters and PS5. The potential is amazing!

@pezmico I love libraries.

Unfortunately I know at least one person who does believe most of those things though and it blows my mind.

@pezmico If the library were to be invented today it'd be illegal, period, full stop. On "intellectual" "property" grounds.

@pezmico a terrifying and depressing view of the future that may be impending as censorship culture enters our libraries. Libraries are good, no, great. They must be preserved.

@pezmico Saying it again:

If #libraries were invented today, the #publishers and the #copyright cartel would sue them out of existence. That's a fact.


Society paid for everything in my case. And I think it's fair to give back what I got for free, as a paid service. Democratic decisions by my government: One ought to pay for everything. Well, okay! (And on the side I do some free stuff for my gardener who loves animals etc.) I'm actually a Socialist, but people hating on socialism, okay, then just pay me :-)

@pezmico Trying to invent lobraries today would totally get shot down as being "Socialist".

Half of society would never let itnhappen, half would pretend to support it but never enact it.

At least in the US.

@pezmico People (in the fictional world where libraries are not common everywhere) would push propaganda studies about how authors in Argentina or Cuba can't make money because those countries have these "book common spaces", that are similar to the "library" where people can get books for free.

Also while completely ignoring how much money cuthroat book publishers are pouring into efforts to keep the authors in those countries poor.

@pezmico I just want to throw out there I am feeling increasingly embarrased that I had the typo "lobraries".

Sign in to participate in the conversation
NZ Mastodon

An NZ hosted Mastodon instance. For all Kiwis and aspiring New Zealanders! Monthly image by @simplicitarian