Libraries, Archives, Technology, Impending Doom
Fire and books are not a good combination. For it is not just the flames that pose a threat to the pages but also the smoke and the water that is used to eventually suppress the fire. While a fire can ravage a community’s, or an individual’s, library it can also strike those who publish the books that eventually become part of those libraries. Sadly, precisely such a fire has recently hit the building used by AK Press, as they report:
“In the early morning of March 21, the building behind ours caught fire. Two people lost their lives. The fire moved to the mixed-use warehouse building we share with 1984 Printing and 30+ residents. Everyone in our building got out safely, but several units were completely destroyed. There was extensive water and smoke damage to other units, including the ones occupied by AK Press and 1984 Printing.”
For those who do not know – AK Press is a worker-run collective that publishes some of the best contemporary radical content while keeping in print important works from the long history of anarchist thought. AK’s books are an essential resource for activists, organizers, DIY enthusiasts, street librarians, workers, academics, and anybody who believes a better world is possible. From rich accounts of contemporary activist movements, to titles on the intersection of culture and resistance, to anthologies of the work of important anarchist thinkers like Peter Kropotkin and Voltairine de Cleyre – the AK Press logo on a book’s spine is an easy way to know that a book will be worth reading. And now, AK Press needs some help:
“Our neighbors at 1984 Printing had a ton of paper, materials, jobs in progress, and computers damaged. Residents of the building lost varying percentages of their belongings. Some lost everything.
So, if you can help, it’s pretty simple: whatever you donate will be evenly split three ways between AK Press, 1984 Printing, and our affected neighbors.”
Think of it as mutual aid.