Alexandria Still Burns: Librarians & the Fight for Knowledge


Photographer Kyle Cassidy is running a Kickstarter to fund an ongoing project that shows the importance of libraries in this modern era. We know Neil Gaiman feels the same way and has been outspoken about it, and I think this project is a great way to further the message. I’ve always been a big reader, and as a nerd who was unchallenged by school, books gave me a way to explore when I lived in a crap ass small town. I’ve also known a few librarians in my day and they are some of the coolest bunch I’ve ever met. Check out Kyle’s Kickstarter and throw him a couple bucks if you can.

 Alexandria Still Burns: Librarians & the Fight for Knowledge

Photograph & interview 100 librarians to make a touring gallery show & help tell the story of why and how libraries are important.


$7,500 New Stretch Goal: Stock photos that libraries can use.

When I asked librarians how I could help, many pointed me to the sad state of available stock images, including this list of horrifying images of “women reading”:

I’d love the opportunity to get some librarian models and take a bunch of useful images and then release them into the wild under a creative commons license so that libraries (and book lovers) could use them, royalty free, in creating web pages, brochures, and signs about books.

This gets unlocked at $7,500. Librarians: do you have requests of what would be useful to you? Let me know.

$6,000 New Stretch Goal: Documentary Video! – Goal Met!

If we can get to $6,000 I can afford to bring a videographer with me and shoot a short documentary about why libraries are important. I think this will go a long way to getting the message out to people and get them thinking about why libraries matter. Backer update coming soon.
*** EDIT ***

In February of 2014 did a photo essay called “This is what a librarian looks like” which was published by Slate Magazine and instantly went viral, rapidly becoming the most popular photo essay they’d ever run. That project consisted of thirty portraits and interviews with librarians on the challenges they faced and the role libraries play in a world where many people have reliable Internet connections and amazon prime accounts.

I realize that the story is incomplete and I want to go to the ALA’s big conference this summer in Las Vegas and try and do at least a hundred portraits and interviews to get a bigger, broader, picture (so to speak) of what libraries and librarians are doing today.

Ultimately I’d like to see this come out as a book, but more immediately I want to create a touring gallery show that can be easily hung and shipped for libraries, galleries, coffee shops and offices and make it available for libraries to show, for free, to help tell the story. Because ultimately this isn’t really at all about what a librarians looks like, it’s about knowledge, access, and civilization.


Your Cart