Welcome to The Rolling Library!
Thanks for subscribing to and supporting The Rolling Library, formerly known as the Astoria Book Fair. The Rolling Library (name courtesy of our friend Matt) overlaps with and works alongside the Astoria Mutual Aid Network and The People’s Bodega NYC. It’s an ongoing program that provides free books (and zines!) to New York City and surrounding areas. We want to do a number of book-related events: free book fairs in multiple locations, pop-up tables of free books at existing events, a mobile library that travels around NYC, outdoor children’s story hours, building and supplying tiny libraries, and more! Please contact us at email@example.com if you’d like a specific event in your neighborhood (especially if you already have a space in mind, such as open streets or an available parking lot)! We’d love to collaborate!
This newsletter, which I promise will be sent sparingly and won’t always be this wordy, will provide updates on our upcoming events, information about how to donate books, and volunteer opportunities.
Last week, we threw our first free book fair on Astoria’s 31st Avenue Open Streets where over 3,000 books were available for free (we estimate that we gave away about 2,700!). It was an amazing, beautiful day made possible by the community. Thank you to every person who donated, and every friend and volunteer who did everything from shelving hundreds of books on the streets to hauling heavy hardcovers down four flights of stairs (sorry!).
A few other shoutouts
The Brass Owl and Long Island City Kleaners, two wonderful local businesses that hosted convenient drop-off boxes
Astoria Food Pantry, which not only collected donations but also lent us tables and other supplies for the fair
Bluestockings Bookstore which donated awesome shelves (and could use some help building up their new location—please donate!)
Evie and 31st Ave. Open Streets crew for helping make this happen
The Astoria Bookshop which generously donated tons of amazing books
Abolition Library Commons for bringing zines and providing a table for people to write letters to incarcerated comrades
Marcela for screenprinting those amazing free posters
Astoria Fridge for their support and hosting a great pop-up alongside us
Every local business that helped us advertise by putting up our flyers
As of now, our donations are currently closed. We received over 3,000 books last month which is absolutely amazing but, as we all know, NYC apartments aren’t exactly known for being spacious! We currently have the leftover books in a small storage locker but are looking for something bigger, closer, and less costly so we can open donations on a more regular basis. (Please let us know if you have any leads on affordable storage spaces!) Once we have a semi-permanent solution, we’ll reopen our donations and immediately let you know.
Currently, we’re not looking for volunteers as we’re still planning our next event. Once we have those details, we’ll send out an email with opportunities. But, in the meantime, you can fill out this form to be added to our database—and here is what we’ll be looking for in the future:
people with cars who can help pick up and transport books
people with (preferably outdoor) locations where we can sort & alphabetize books
people who can help setup and break-down our events
people who want to collaborate with us for their existing mutual aid programs
businesses that can act as a drop-off location for donations
publishing pals and bookstore buddies who’d like to donate books
Please help us get the word out about The Rolling Library by sharing our Instagram or forwarding this newsletter to friends. Thank you again, and see you soon!
- Pilot & Liah