Shelf Life: Deaccession, Reanimation, and the Social Justice Implications of Library Discards

May 24, 2010
Brecht Forum
451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune)
$6-10 sliding scale, no one turned away for inability to pay

Featuring presentations by Julia Weist, Public Library of American Public Library Deaccession and Andrew Beccone, Reanimation Library with a group discussion afterward, moderated by Emily Drabinski.

Julia Weist will discuss her project The Public Library of Public Library Deaccession, an artistic attempt at documenting and re-purposing information about 5,000 books deselected from public libraries between 2005-07. Consisting of both a physical library and an online database, the P.L.P.L.D., sought to highlight the obscure, trivial and misleading so as to better understand the relevant, the beautiful and the true. The presentation will also include a screening of Weist's short film by the same name, in which withdrawn books were reintegrated in Brooklyn communities through mobile library units stationed in municipal spaces.

Andrew Beccone is the founder and director of the Reanimation Library, a small, independent library in Brooklyn. The Reanimation Library is a collection of books that have fallen out of mainstream circulation. Outdated and discarded, they have been culled from thrift stores, stoop sales, and throw-away piles across the country and given new life as resource material for artists, writers, and other cultural archeologists. Beccone will provide a general overview of the library and will also address the social value of salvaging, re-cataloging, and making available materials that might otherwise be forgotten.

Emily Drabinski is an instruction librarian at Long Island University. She is co-editor of Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods (Library Juice Press, 2010).