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  1. I was in Chinatown for the first time in many years on Sunday morning (September 7) for Dim Sum, and had heard about this wonderful outdoor movie experience. It was impossible for me to attend, but I have something new to look forward to for next year! Experiences like these, that bring the community together (even if just for a little while) should be cherished for what they are — pure gold. I too grew up watching some of these wonderful martial arts movies. I hope to see you all there next year!!

  2. Eric

    With the awesome popcorn machine’s faint, but familiar light in the background, I thought that night went absolutely perfect. Maybe if we had dive more chairs, but aside from that, perfect!

  3. Beautiful work, good cause, great training. A win all around. Extra thanks to Julian Bushman-Copp and Matthew Swaidan for their commitment.

  4. hulahoopmania

    this is super great!

  5. Roslyn Watson

    What a fantastic idea…
    and who knew it had been done before?
    The old photo is priceless!
    Do you know the location?

  6. Anonymous

    Great! This seems like a great idea and more people should participate monthly!

  7. Richard

    this event was an inspirational and positive for the community. it was exciting to hear the stories and poems people from the community had to share.

  8. sheila m

    Lets hope there is a permanent library so that there can be a safe haven of learning and sharing of our experiences.

  9. Sam

    Eric Hellman’s post has been making the rounds. Here’s a concurring opinion from the Palos Verdes Library District Director’s Blog which includes a mention of the PVLD’s own storefront model, the “Annex”:

    “Much of what Mr. Hellman predicts is consistent with the conversations we are having, and in some cases the actions we are taking, here at PVLD (Palos Verdes Library District). While we have not contemplated merging PVLD with another library (and I confess that this idea is one I instinctively dislike) we are part of a cooperative library system that last year merged with two other regional cooperatives to enable greater sharing of resources across the Los Angeles, Orange, and parts of Ventura counties. Our Annex is a variation on the store front library model and we have had at least preliminary conversations about whether the concept could be deployed elsewhere in our community such as in the Miraleste village shopping area to relieve pressure on the overcrowded Miraleste Library. David Campbell has pushed the idea of delivering materials by mail for a couple of years now, and while we have yet to come up with a feasible economic model we have not given up on the idea. And we certainly are investing substantial time, money and energy in beefing up our digital collections and improving how the community can access them.

    All of this makes me think that Mr. Hellman is on to something…”

  10. Have you thought of doing anything during next week’s ALA convention to show people what you’ve achieved? I’d love to stop by myself.

  11. Sam

    Thanks for your interest and also for your blog. We would love to see you and other ALA participants here at the Library.

    The Storefront Library will run regular hours through January 17, at which point our volunteer staff will begin wrapping up the project at 640 Washington St. We’ve let folks at ALA know that we’ll be open to the public during the convention, but no official ALA program is scheduled here. As always, we’ll have one staff person available for informal tours/questions from professional visitors. (Throughout the project, we’ve tried to strike a balance between allocating resources to professional tours/events and the demands of daily operation and patron-oriented programs.)

    During the project, it has been extremely useful (and a pleasure) to have informal visits and feedback from visiting librarians. We’re looking forward to meeting more of you during the ALA.

  12. Yukie

    Sam-I was literally JUST (an hour ago) thinking about the concept of “third place” and wishing that I had a place that served that function for me (it would actually be a “second place” in my case, as I am a stay-at-home mom). Back before there were public libraries (the first of which opened in your fair city in 1859!), there were “social libraries” that were a refuge from the responsibilities (and pressures) of work and home, where people could read and also socialize and relax. A kind of private, personal library on a grand public scale. A combination of B&N and Starbucks with all of the commerce involved removed. Storefront Library has brought back the social library, a concept that came about as young men of the 19th century moved to big cities and lived in cramped quarters and thus needed a “third place” to call their own. Things haven’t changed too much in a century and a half- I live in cramped quarters in a big city. The need for a third place lives on.

  13. peter kiang

    history-making… thanks for showing what’s possible.

  14. Wing-kai To

    Sincere thanks to Sam, Leslie, and everyone involved in this project for their extraordinary service to the Chinatown community!

  15. Jared, Laurence and Zoé

    What a beautiful thing to have done! We look forward to your new projects. Thank you, Storefront Library!

  16. Jeremy and Hiroko

    Rats. Hiroko and I are so bummed to be missing the last days of the Storefront Library! Looking forward to seeing how the spirit of the Storefront Library continues throughout the neighborhood!

  17. Caroline Chang

    The ending of a wonderful project and gift to the community but hopefully the beginning of some more and permanent resources (a library branch but not only that!) for everyone and anyone who wants to increase their knowledge and learning in English and/or Chinese. Thank you, Leslie and Sam, and everyone else who has made this project so outstanding!

  18. The store front library fills a void in the community. We need more on-going and permanant places/projects like this to provide people (especially recent immigrants) with an alternative social/edutainment outlet other than the casinos or underground gambling parlors.

    Kudos to Leslie and Sam, and everyone who help make this happen. I look forward to seeing this project being taken to another level!

  19. Nana & Papu

    Wonderful project that is a seed planted!

  20. Astird

    Great piece, I never thought about it in quite that way– but after spending time in the library in Chinatown, I definitely saw how patron’s were using it as their “third place”. I love that you’ll be looking for a winning formula so that the concept of “third places” can be made into realities across many cities.

  21. Kit Sullivan

    We really appreciate the shelves! While we mourn the loss of our beloved South Branch, we look forward to the Mighty Twig and your shelving makes it a reality. Thanks again!

  22. Henry Kisor

    Thank you from the bottom of our bookish hearts.

  23. David Bennett

    Great story of communities working together.

  24. Larry Lundy

    Thanks for the great story. I’ve been a member of EPLF since it’s inception over a year ago. My eyes teared up reading your account and thinking about this journey. To know we have friends, like the Boston Street Lab, makes the path ahead that much brighter. Thanks to you and all who have helped make this a reality! Onward~