A Tale as Old as Time

August 30, 2016

“In contemporary capitalist societies, libraries stand out as slightly odd. While people are generally accustomed to going into a store and having to pay if they plan on leaving with something – in a library this relationship is quite different.” From AirBnB to Zipcar, startups premised on the so-called “sharing economy” tout themselves as radical and disruptive. Except that another institution – the public library – has been offering communal property for hundreds of years.

Not that the circumstances are always ideal, as our own Jacob Lambert attests in his “Open Letter to the Person Who Wiped Boogers on My Library Book.”

is social media editor at The Millions. She lives in Brooklyn where she's currently working on her first novel. Find her online @kirstinbutler, and of course, on The Millions‘ feeds.

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