Modern Times Bookstore Collective is calling a town hall meeting to discuss the future of our beloved bookstore. As a valued supporter, your presence is requested for a town hall meeting at Modern Times (2919 24th St at Alabama) on Thursday, May 16th at 7PM.
For 41 years, Modern Times has had its doors open to activists, educators, rabble-rousers, queers, and scholars of all stripes. We’ve maintained our position as a progressive resource, stocking thousands of titles and collections that you’d be hard-pressed to find at most bookstores: queer theory, sex/uality, disability justice, well-curated and left-leaning section of libros en espanol, critical race studies, anarchy, radical retellings of US history, political economy, socialism, Raza studies, African American and Asian American history and analysis, criticisms of the Prison Industrial Complex, and global activism (just to name a few).
We’ve helped find legal support for folks in the days before widespread use of the web and the National Lawyers Guild hotline, offered free space for book groups and protest-plotting, acted as a drop-off point for people to mail books to their loved ones in prison, and opened our doors for countless authors, panel discussions, performances, workshops, and film-showings. We’ve done all these things (and more!) in all four of our locations, from our early days on Sanchez St to our current home on 24th St.
We’ve also watched the economy crumble — several times, the book business and publishing industry lose its footing, the rise of convenience and price gouging a la Amazon, and our neighborhood shift dramatically away from a sense of community that kept us alive and thriving for so many years. All the while, we (and many of you) have poured our hearts, souls, energy, and money into keeping Modern Times afloat.
We love you. We love books. We love our myriad intersecting communities. These loves and this drive to preserve a sense of community and radical/politics in San Francisco have kept us going for four decades. These loves and drive also make it incredibly difficult to announce that we no longer have the fortitude nor the financial resiliency to keep Modern Times alive and well. Our hope is that someway, somehow we can stay open.
We hope that this call for community support will yield people, ideas, energy, in order that the bookstore doors can remain open. Bring your visions, ideas, and creativity!
Please join us.
Modern Times Bookstore Collective
PS Keep up-to-date with developments on this webpage and email us with questions and ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As things progress, we’ll have a better idea of our needs. Our main request is for skilled, committed volunteers for both general in-store support and external assistance.
For full transparency, the current collective is interested in phasing out of Modern Times. This means that, in this moment, our options are to close the store or hand over the store to new leadership. Both options require (a lot of) varied types of support, including funding, visioning, and legal assistance. We’re hoping that this townhall meeting is substantive enough to allow us all (you included) to figure out which direction makes the most sense.
Please direct your inquiries and ideas to email@example.com