Local Lady Establishes Pop-up Libraries: As attempts to prohibit and restrict controversial books continue to rise at schools and public libraries across the nation, a woman in the metro area is working to ensure that people have access to them.
When Aileen Loy was a little child growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, she developed a love for reading. She talked about how reading helped her escape her conventional upbringing as she sat in her East Atlanta office.
Since I was in kindergarten, I’ve spent every summer in the library, she added.
She has maintained her passion for reading well into adulthood. She claimed that this is the reason why the continuous rise in complaints and book bans from school districts all throughout America irritates her.
“To find people who are eager to obstruct it and to restrict people’s freedom to read whatever, you know, they come across or whatever appeals to them. I find that to be problematic.
The Little Free Contentious Library, which she has set up in small drop boxes all across metro Atlanta, is filled with books that have been disputed and challenged by school systems.
In 2020, she began the endeavor with five stacks of discarded newspapers. She left more than 20 today, most of them in metro Atlanta and some in other nearby states.
She explained that the goal was to provide everyone with access to as many books as they want or was able to obtain.
Every little library she builds has a “starter set” of books in it. She gives individuals the option to keep them and take them for free.
Loy buys the books on her own, frequently visiting bargain shops, garage sales, and other places to gather what she can to maintain and replenish the selections in each of her tiny libraries.
The next round of the initiative is being driven by Loy’s childhood memories of a bookmobile that would visit her neighborhood once every week.
“I want to create a bookmobile, and I want it to contain only forbidden books. We’re going to tour throughout several states,” she announced.
In order to raise money for a van that she may modify and use to carry books to places with more constraints, Loy initiated an internet fundraising campaign.
In 2022, the American Library Association recorded over 1,200 challenges against books, almost twice as many as in 2021. For the past 20 years, the organization has monitored the patterns.
Loy worries that the number will only increase going forward. She has claimed that she will also be collecting books that she feels could be targeted in the future, in addition to the ones with recognized difficulties, so she will be ready to provide fans with what they want.
Just to be sure, she replied, “Let’s make sure we have everything available at any time.”