Civil Disobedience, Bibliophile Style

As unemployment rises, municipal tax bases and city budgets fall. That’s meant scores of libraries closing all over the world. In 2009, Philadelphia announced that they were closing all branches of the Philadelphia Free Library. The news of the closing spread, largely via Twitter, Facebook and blogs, and the decision was rescinded. Other libraries haven’t been so lucky; there have been reductions in hours and services, staff, and book collections, all over.
This week in Stony Stratford, near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, library patrons responded to the announcement that the library would close as a cost-saving, patrons responded by borrowing the maximum number of books allowed, until all 16,000 volumes of the circulating collection were checked out.

The idea was initially suggested in jest by a patron as a civil protest. Emily Malleson from Friends of Stony Stratford Library (FOSSL) said that after consideration, she decided to put the idea on the FOSSL Facebook page.

It’s a novel method of civil protest, worth remembering. You can read more here.