Bristol book lover suffers abuse over ‘little library’

A book lover who set-up a ‘little library’ for the community to enjoy, found herself subject to a stream of “nasty” and “vicious” online comments.

Olivia Clements from Bishopston in Bristol set up the book swap outside her home but received a backlash when she posted about it on Twitter.

Many complaints came from people who objected to Ms Clements describing it as a library.

“It’s strange how something so small can turn very nasty,” she said.

Olivia Clements
image captionMs Clements’ tweet about ‘The Little Library’ has now attracted more than 14,500 likes and 420 comments

“I put the tweet up and by the end of the day it was my most successful tweet. The most likes I had on a post before was about 20 but by Friday evening the tweet had about 380 likes and it got to around 10,000 in 24 hours. 

“It was odd but lovely to see the positive comments,” she added. 

Ms Clements, who works in Max Minerva’s bookshop in Westbury Park and the Bath branch of Waterstones, said she was well aware of how funding cuts and closures had affected libraries and had no intention of detracting from their work.

“I can understand where they are coming from about calling it a library but it’s the way it was done. I did it all with good intentions and its strange how something so small can turn very nasty. 

“If people want to call it a book swap rather than a library that’s fine by me. It was rough and it made me understand why some people are reluctant to post online.”

View original tweet on Twitter

Ms Clements, 23, said the comments had been hurtful but thanked those who had supported her and shared pictures of their own book exchanges across the globe. 

“I sat there looking at the notifications and all the people who had liked the tweet or commented. It’s like they don’t realise I will see them.

“One or two may be ok but when its hundreds it does have an impact on you. I think the message I would send is please just be nice.”

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