Bookstores continue to close across America driving an increase in online petitions to save local bookstores such as St. Marks Bookstore in New York. The latest federal statistics shows there are only approximately 10,600 bookstores left in the country with more than 1,000 closing from 2000 to 2007.
Large-scale e-commerce retailers such as Amazon, Borders and Barnes & Noble continue to pose a threat to smaller establishments as price continues to drive consumer purchasing habits. Atlantis Books in Santorini, Greece who recently came to IndieGoGo reactive to the collapse of the recession, proved that this shift is affecting global independent businesses. They successfully raised $40,570 finding support from their neighborhood and community.
Latina owned, La Casa Azul, has operated as an online retailer since 2008 and in the wake of the rise of digital commerce in the literary space, this small business is currently raising ‘$40K in 40 Days’ on IndieGoGo to create a physical space in East Harlem, New York. Despite the demise of book reatilers, she is determined to re-invigorate a concept called placemaking; the idea of creating places where people can converge. The bookstore will offer book clubs, author signings, story time for children and a community meeting space, all geared towards Latin literature.
We identified five campaigns on IndieGoGo spirited to maintain the printed matter movement both for education and the sustainablity of their communities:
Location: California, USA
Story: With educational funding at a crisis point in their state, school parents and the local community want to re-open their library doors, pay to re-instate a librarian and re-furbish the space for continued use.
Support Sayulita’s School Library
Location: Sayulita, Mexico
Story: The library at The Damian Carmona Primary School is equipped with a library and an eager student population returning daily to borrow more books. Their librarian is keen to provide free pencils and paper, 5 computers, soap for the bathrooms, snacks and tutors, all in the efforts to improve the well-being and aptitude of student life.
Location: Hibberdene, South Africa
Story: Construction is near completion for a library in this rural community already equipped with donated books, walls and bookshelves however their remaining goal is to hire a librarian and security guard to ensure the space is efficient and safely run for children.
The Feel Of It
Location: California, USA
Story: Proving that a library is not just for learning but for the meeting of minds, this short film feature explores the relationship between a drummer and bookish deaf girl who develop a connection in a quiet library.
Empowering LGBT Youth through It Gets Better Campaign
Location: New York, USA
Story: This non-profit is geared towards empowering young people to create change in their communities through training, mentoring and campaign ventures. They want to purchase the It Gets Better book and send them to high schools nationwide to empower LGBT youth, especially those who have been bullied and harassed.
Image via Nina Revoyr