Books. Parks. Be there.

Do you love books? Libraries? Grassroots organizing? Young people who take initiative? BIG SIDEWALKS? Find all of those, and arts and crafts this Friday by the Chinatown Gate (Boston). One of Boston’s Asian American youth groups, CYI is hosting a read-in and book swap to raise support for the Chinatown Library.

Boston’s public library is in the middle of a huge budget crisis. They’re looking to close down several of their neighborhood branches, even as Chinatown has been campaigning for its own branch (the neighborhood hasn’t had a library for over 50 years). This is a great opportunity to proclaim your support not just for Chinatown’s libraries, but all of Boston’s libraries. Libraries are great community resources. They provide space, intellectual stimulation, free educational materials, and creative programming (like puppet shows and book readings).

The solid:

CYI 2010: The Chinatown Library Project

Friday, August 20

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Chinatown Gateway Park, aka the BIG SIDEWALK

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Welcome Back Books

The Chinatown Storefront Library is preparing to reopen this fall. How excited am I! The Storefront Library last fall and winter was a great place to find people, find books, and find a place to chill. And now, even as the Boston Public Library prepares to close its branches, the minds behind the Storefront Library have found a way to bring it back.

Also, congratulations on getting onto Google maps, you guys.

Open Mic at the Library

UMass Boston’s Asian American Studies and the Chinatown Storefront Library are teaming up next Monday to present an OPEN MIC! Come hear some of Boston’s newest Asian American talent. I think they’re setting up a chapbook table, too, for folks who want to grab those poets’ publications after the show. Yours truly will be there, listening and maybe even performing? Official description follows:

Chinatown Storefront Library: Spoken Word and Poetry Night

640 Washingston St Boston Ma 02111

Monday, December 7, 2009

6:30PM – 8:30PM

Free Event

Open performance will be opened from 6:30PM – 7:00PM. So sign up early.

storefront library open mic flyer

A Library for Chinatown

Once upon a time (1896-1956), there was a little library in Boston’s Chinatown. The library served all the people in the area, Chinese and not, until one day, the City had to tear it down. The City had to tear the library down because they wanted to put a highway there. Instead of moving the library somewhere else, they never gave it a new home. And what happened to all those books? I don’t know.

The neighborhood waited and waited for a new library. They waited almost 50 years, and when a new century began, a group of them decided to take the matter into their own hands.
After an 8 year campaign, the City hasn’t decided to open the library back up, but a group of community partners is opening a temporary storefront library in Chinatown to gather support for a permanent location. That storefront library opens tomorrow, October 14. Check out the website for details.