April 14, 2009

hey, check me out . . .

Okay, this is weird only at first impression, and a very creative way of furthering a primary purpose of libraries: i.e. making access to knowledge and enjoyment more accessible. I'm reminded of "Spencer's Mountain" and the library in the movie - it's the movie that comes to mind, but I have some inkling of the book in the recesses of my muddled mind. Never mind all that . . . I'm making a list of the people I want to check out.

Santa Monica library lets public check out walking, talking sources

Tired of books? Then consult a living, breathing source.

On Saturday, the Santa Monica Public Library's Living Library Project will feature "a Mormon, an animal rights activist, a police detective, a fat activist, a feminist, a married Jewish lesbian mom, a little person and an ex-gang member," among others. Members of the public will be able to "check out" the sources for 30-minute conversations.

Rachel Foyt, the library's administrative analyst (and self-avowed "book-cart drill team world champion"), said in a release that the event provides an opportunity for people who have special interests, beliefs or experiences to share their personal stories with interested citizens. Using the library vernacular, the human references will be called "books" and the patrons will be called "readers."

This is a reprise of an event the library held in October 2008 which was the first of its kind nationwide.

No library card is required. Reservations for the sources open at 10 a.m., with half-hour conversations running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the main branch, located at 601 Santa Monica Blvd.

Foyt said "readers" will be responsible for returning "books" in the "same mental and physical condition as borrowed." "It is forbidden to cause damage to the book, tear out or bend pages, get food or drink spilled over the book or hurt her or his dignity in any other way."
-- Martha Groves


  1. Feel free to add the dreaded Emerson Avenger to your list. ;-)

    I'm game if the Santa Monica Public Library is. . . :-)

  2. I'll be glad to make the recommendation, Robin.