Libraries their demise and the subjugation of local history
When you remove a local community library, you also remove local history and its relevance to a connected wider communal history. The history of struggles, events and all that makes up community identity and also connections to broader national events and achievements. The destruction of libraries runs parallel with the decline in community pride and involvement.
Other implications are. The communities understanding of their place in history. Libraries have been taken out all over Scotland. Who chooses what is relevant when discarding the content of libraries? Who chooses which libraries to close and why? Who is in charge of our history. Are the closures part of replacing vital community infrastructure or part of social cleansing, of our history, sence of place and social working class identity.
We need to ask are our public institutions more viable to the community as luxury flats or places of learning? We also need to ask are our communities based on human values for us, or the profiteering of gentrification? What Thatcher started in disposing of our social housing and the dismantling of unions, the present administrations have continued in an even more insidious, secretive and destructive manner in this destruction through gentrification, while describing what adds up to social cleansing, as progress!
The management of history has always made it important that we maintain our own collections of historical events, a few listed here
RI audio speaking about libraries.
The Spirit of Revolt – Archives of Dissent. The Archive collects, manages and preserves multi-media records from Glasgow’s and Clydeside’s anarchist and libertarian-socialist past and present. The website allows you to access the complete catalogue of our Archive. You can access all material at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library.
This is a unique collection of working class documentation, writings, images, artwork, posters, leaflets and memorabilia of campaigns, movements relating to Glasgow’s history of struggle and the radical imagination at work.
The archive needs to employ a trained archivist which is always a strain on their budget. All other work is carried out by volunteers and needs support.
So there is a ton of inspirational ideas relevant to contemporary struggle and movement building.
Radical book archive Radical film library
A new project based at Kinnon Park Complex, although the film library has been touring for the last three years
The collection and cataloguing of the entire archive has been made possible by a Glasgow School of Art AHRC-funded research project entitled The Glasgow Miracle: Material Towards Alternative Histories. For further information on the archive or to arrange access to the material contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.