Habeas Libris: For Books in Need of a Reprieve


I am here just to offer what I would like to think is a workable suggestion about one way to support book-loving law librarians and their loved ones in this time of much dramatic re-ordering of priorities and facilities, and much less re-shelving of books. This no-cost program — it’s not quite no-cost, because you must do the work of giving information to the Green Bag and then dealing with people who are interested in your books, and the Green Bag must do the work of maintaining the Habeas Libris website — is simple and straightforward (it really is). You send the Green Bag two things: (1) a list, in pdf or Word, of books you want to dispose of and (2) a pdf or Word document with the terms on which you are willing to dispose of them. The Green Bag posts the documents, as soon as it reasonably can, next to your library’s name in the list of libraries on the Habeas Libris website. You can send the Green Bag updates whenever you like and we will post them. Anyone can visit the website and poke around on it in search of books, and anyone can reach out to you based on what they find in your book list and in your rules. That is all. For now, Habeas Libris will simply give librarians a place to share news about their books that are on a bibliographical death row, and give the world — the interested part of it — one last chance to grant those books a reprieve. At the very least, librarians who list their last-gasp books on Habeas Libris will be able to sleep a little easier at night, knowing that they gave those books a chance to survive and serve more readers.