BEYOND THE STACKS

Ery Caswell: Librarian, Writer, Instructor


Mobile Social Justice Library: Based in Southeastern CT / Southern RI 

Beyond the Stacks is a fledgling virtual and mobile platform for politically informed librarianship. We reject the outdated vocational notion that the library should or even can be a politically neutral space. Read more about the political philosophy that manifested Beyond the Stacks. Volunteer to get involved with this project.


Check out books from our mobile social justice library at pop up events with our partner organiations.

Sign up to join our writing group (donation requested for entry). 

The views expressed here are my own and do not imply endorsement by any employer.

Folks at Black Lives Matter protest browse the mobile library offerings
close up of books on display
close up of books in mobile "stacks" aka cardboard boxes
Westerly Sun_ Protestors demonstrate against racism, police brutality
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THE MOBILE SOCIAL JUSTICE LIBRARY

The mobile social justice library began when I envisioned "the trunk library." I wanted to have a collection of books to educate and empower around themes of social justice at the ready wherever I was. Today, I manage and promote a growing collection of 300 books, many of which are banned and/or frequently challenged. We pop up at protests organized by Westerly Anti-Racism Coalition in Westerly, RI to circulate books and encourage communal education, knowledge sharing, and jumpstarting social justice related projects and causes. We have circulated 50 books to over 30 people in our first year. Everything we do is volunteer run. Help our collection spread its wings and soar!

Our collection of books serves one of two purposes: (1) to provide education and further information about social justice issues (2) to highlight the personal narratives and stories of marginalized people in this oppressive culture. We collect books representing as wide a variety of genres, reading levels, and identities as possible for our available space and resources. We include stories of joy and celebration, not just of trauma and mourning. This project will always be a work in progress. This is true of any living being learning how to love better.

We purchase any books we add to the collection with a library discount, from a Black-owned bookstore, or through thrift store finds. Check out People Get Ready in New Haven, The Key Bookstore in Hartford, or Burgundy Books in Old Saybrook to make your own purchases.

Or find a Black-owned bookstore in your city here.

 
 

BEYOND THE STACKS WRITING GROUP

I've organized and moderated community library writing groups for the last five years, in addition to proposing and hosting writing workshops with local authors. As of March 2022, I will be offering a Beyond the Stacks Writing Group that meets every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at 7 PM EST via Zoom. This writing group is tied to the mission of the mobile library. I want to promote social justice literacy, create expressive space for marginalized people, and celebrate a diverse community of writers and experiences. As the group grows, I will be able to continue my work, hosting local authors whose books are included in the mobile library (like Regina Bartlett, pictured here). Start your writing journey!

Group Guidelines | Join | Submit Writing

local author Regina Bartlett standing beside a white board she used to offer a writing workshop titl

Upcoming Events

  • Mobile Library Pop Up at Westerly Anti-Racism Coalition Demonstrations
    Jul 31, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM EDT
    Westerly, 5 High St, Westerly, RI 02891, USA
    Join Westerly Anti-Racism Coalition and support their mission to educate and empower around issues of race and culture. And check out books from our collection while you do!
    Share
  • Beyond the Stacks Writing Group
    Multiple Dates
    Wed, Jul 27
    Zoom Meeting
    Jul 27, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT
    Zoom Meeting
    Join a community of writers, liberate your voice, and start getting your voice heard through publishing
    Share
  • Beyond the Stacks Writing Group
    Multiple Dates
    Sun, Jul 10
    Zoom Meeting
    Jul 10, 7:00 PM EDT – Jul 14, 8:30 PM EDT
    Zoom Meeting
    Join a community of writers, liberate your voice, and start getting your voice heard through publishing
    Share
  • Mobile Library Pop Up at Westerly Anti-Racism Coalition Demonstrations
    Jun 26, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM EDT
    Westerly, 5 High St, Westerly, RI 02891, USA
    Join Westerly Anti-Racism Coalition and support their mission to educate and empower around issues of race and culture. And check out books from our collection while you do!
    Share
  • Beyond the Stacks Writing Group
    Multiple Dates
    Wed, Jun 22
    Zoom Meeting
    Jun 22, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT
    Zoom Meeting
    Join a community of writers, liberate your voice, and start getting your voice heard through publishing
    Share
  • Beyond the Stacks Writing Group
    Multiple Dates
    Wed, Jun 08
    Zoom Meeting
    Jun 08, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT
    Zoom Meeting
    Join a community of writers, liberate your voice, and start getting your voice heard through publishing
    Share
 

CONTACT US

Thanks for your interest in Beyond the Stacks.

Please know that you can reach out with questions about events or our mobile library, requests for help finding support organizations in your city, and suggestions for new books or resource guides.

We keep your information requests private and confidential.

For every question you dare to ask, a thousand other people benefit. We post based upon the information & support folks need most.


In solidarity, always. 

Thanks for submitting!

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Why a mobile library?

On the vision that led to beyond the stacks and where we want to go next It started as a wish. You know when you're talking to someone at...