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Hey guys, super shitty news. You may remember me talking about the Birmingham Free Store, an awesome radical space that provides in my hometown by collecting and giving away various things donated by folks in Bham

The landlord for the building has been working on the roof lately, and didn't properly secure the tarp before rain came last night. The store is now flooded, with much of what was inside - including the entire library section - destroyed beyond repair

They really need help right now, however you can. For cash donations, their patreon and venmo are both @bhamfreestore, and if you want to mail books or anything else their address is 3114 27th St N, Birmingham, AL 35207

Please boost this, and copy to other media if you'd like. This is an incredible space and it deserves our help!

Update on this situation: the Free Store crew has announced they'll be seeking a new location. If you've already sent mail, don't worry, it'll definitely find its way to them. But otherwise, please wait until the new address is picked out. Needless to say they'll be needing monetary donations now more than ever

I'll keep you guys updated as this develops. Please spread the word and help keep this wonderful project alive!

Another update: the roof of the Free Store is still full of holes, and a lot of stuff is still inside (they haven't gotten a storage unit set up yet). They're still in desperate need, so please check out those donation links above if you can help!

@socalledunitedstates I'm guessing the landlord isn't going to get hauled over the coals for this. :blobnervous:

@Jo We're not sure yet, though I don't doubt that authority will lean more towards siding with the landlord over the anarchists... From what I heard, it was made clear in the agreement that the roof was the landlord's responsibility, and we do have a lawyer that will pursue reparations. So hopefully things work out in our favor

@socalledunitedstates :(

how high did the water get? there are ways to save soaked books, at least.

@trwnh The store's all above ground so I don't think it did more than pool on the floor, but as you can see in the video the library section is directly under a huge hole in the roof so it got pretty much directly rained on. Same with a lot of the clothes and other stuff

If you have a reliable way to try and save these books I can definitely pass it on to them

@socalledunitedstates pretty sure the clothes can basically just be washed so being rained on isn't really any different than being outside in heavy rain.

@socalledunitedstates as for the books here are some tips:
- do NOT try to separate the pages bc they will likely tear
- if you have a freezer, freeze the books to prevent mold from setting in while you try to figure out what to do next
- stand upright on a towel/etc to let the water drain out and be absorbed
- when partially wet, try placing paper towels every 20 pages or so. cycle through

@socalledunitedstates - and if you have a fan then you can use that to circulate air (don't point it directly at the books though)

@socalledunitedstates once most of the moisture is removed through these methods (e.g. you've let it drain, pressed it out with towels every 20 pages, then let it air-dry while fanning out the remaining pages) then you can flatten the book between some heavy boards or w/e to get the pages mostly flat again

oh, and also don't open the books 90+ degrees wide, that'll probably damage the spine

@trwnh Hey these are great tips; I'd like to add one: use a fairly closed room to dry the books in, and spread out rock (or normal) salt on baking sheets. It'll help capture ambient humidity and speed up the process.

(Tangential, I use rock salt in small containers with holes in the bottom resting on trays as a dehumidifier in my home and it works quite well, salty water pools up under the container and i dump it every few days or week.)

@trwnh boosting this for everyone who's ever dropped a book in the bathtub

@socalledunitedstates
I'll be in Tuscaloosa next week; if y'all need help, lmk and I can come out a couple days

@marie_joseph Hopefully a cleaning workday will be announced soon, I'll let you know when we do! We could also use some help replenishing our stock, so if you have clothes, furniture, hygiene products, or (especially) books, we'd really appreciate donations

Really anything that anyone might want to have that you aren't using would be great. If you're not sure whether we'd want it just DM me and ask

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