01.27.2021

Freedom Libraries:
The Untold Story of Libraries for African Americans in the South
by Mike Selby

published October 2019
ISBN: 9781538115534
★★★★★

An excellent and necessary remembrance of the community center libraries that sprang up to serve Black residents in a few locations during and around the Freedom Summer of 1964. Volunteers both local and out of state faced everything from crumbling infrastructure to assassination attempts to introduce libraries into communities that were systematically denied them.

This is important for two reasons -- one, to remember. This struggle happened here involving some people who are still alive today, not in a far-away time and place. Second, even now, this book is a lesson in what could happen when we completely reimagine the library and it's role in the community. What would it look like if we built it from the bottom up, basing it entirely on the needs and wants of the community it serves?

Overall, an excellent and quick read, and recommended for library lovers and history buffs everywhere.