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The new library locator in Bristol Posted On 19 February 2021

Local resident Jade Palmer has made it much more convenient to find pre-owned books to read and swap in Bristol, after setting up an interactive map to locate ‘little libraries’

 

Palmer is already part of the Bristol Book Share Facebook group, and has set up the page as a means to document where one can access books. And it appears to be a popular system, as there are thought to be eight libraries in North Bristol, fourteen in South Bristol, two in East Bristol, and three on the outskirts of the city.

When discussing the reasons why she created the map, Palmer cited the importance of getting use out of second-hand books, saying, ‘If it stops more people buying brand new books then that’s a massive plus’. She also admitted that the map will help people to find books, who otherwise may not, when adding, ‘If people don’t know where they are, they might not be used, if it’s not along people’s regular walk in their area’.

There had been some criticism towards the idea. Olivia Clements from Bishopston, was one of the locals who created her own ‘little library’. Her library was initially greeted with optimism on Twitter, with Clements explaining that her post reached ‘around 10,000 (likes) in 24 hours’. But the post was also met with comments which Clements described as ‘nasty’ and ‘vicious’. These opinions were made by people who objected to Clements describing her offering as a ‘library’. Clements responded to the criticism, saying, ‘If people want to call it a book swap rather than a library that’s fine by me’.

Palmer, like Clements, did not understand the reason for the abuse aimed at the latter, and went on to discuss the positive impact that these ‘little libraries’ will have on main libraries in the future, when saying, ‘If anything, it might encourage people to use the libraries when they reopen if they don’t already do so!’

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