Ourshelves: an intimate and growing library

November 1, 2011

Kristina Kearns is the mastermind behind a small book-lined room at the back of a fascinating private-public space in San Francisco’s Mission district. She was recently awarded a $1000 Awesome Foundation grant. I recently toured the space and followed up with some questions for Kristina (and am currently reading the book she recommended for me after a return visit to this fascinating space) Jesse: How do you explain “Ourshelves” to people who have never heard of it before? Kristina: Ourshelves is a space designed to share appreciation for literature. It’s not government-funded like the public library, and it isn’t monetarily focused like a bookshop. It’s about sharing good literature — whether sharing suggestions, long conversations over tea, coffee and sometimes whiskey, lending books to the community, or putting little-known work on the shelf. It’s also about sharing possibilities about what publishing can be. San Francisco is one of the most literary cities in the world, still it doesn’t yet have a space completely dedicated to literature. That’s what Ourshelves strives to be. How did the idea of Ourshelves first come about? The idea of Ourshelves came about when I returned to San Francisco after spending some months living in an idyllic… read more →