All across America, the public library is the only civic institution where the doors are open to all, attendance is entirely voluntary, and everything is free.
Free for All is a documentary project exploring the history, spirit and challenges of the free public library. With public libraries around the nation facing drastic budget cuts and even closures, Free for All investigates why so many Americans love their libraries and assesses the high stakes for democracy if public libraries become extinct.
The film seeks to inspire, entertain, and spark dialogue and engagement as communities debate the future of their public libraries.
The cornerstone of Free for All is a feature-length documentary film intended for PBS broadcast. The film is a contemporary road trip to libraries across the United States, intercut with outstanding and rarely seen archival material. Its structure juxtaposes two revolutionary moments in the American library story – the original “Library Movement” that swept the country in late 19th century, and current early 21st century struggle to bring public libraries into the digital age. A rollicking and visually stunning mosaic of faces, architecture and stories, Free for All celebrates the diversity of the American library experience past and present, while investigating the urgent issues libraries face today.
Free for All is led by Producer/Director Dawn Logsdon and Executive Producer Stanley Nelson. Their team includes Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated colleagues whose historical and contemporary social issue films have received wide exposure and acclaim over the past thirty years. To learn more about the folks working on this project, visit our Meet the Team page.
Free for All: Inside the Public Library is a project of
Serendipity Films, LLC.