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Interior of Left Bank Books, Seattle, Washington in 2006.

An infoshop is a place where alternative, subcultural or radical literature is distributed.[1] Subjects often include, activism, anarchism, animal rights, art, economics, environmentalism, feminism, politics, permaculture, socialism, vegetarianism and veganism. Additionally, infoshops often serve as a meeting space and resource hub for local groups and activists.

Infoshops can be free standing or take the form of a store front or a few rooms that act as distribution, reading, library and meeting space. Alternatively, they may be part of a larger social center that provides other functions.[1]


Often infoshops have a library of alternative, subcultural or radical literature. Infoshops also include a zine library, helping to preserve zine culture.[2]


Infoshops are particularly prevalent in Western Europe and North America, but can be found around the world.[citation needed]


Exterior of L'Insoumise/Documentations, Informations, Références et Archives (DIRA), an infoshop in Montreal, Canada.

According to an Utne Reader article, author Chris Atton describes British infoshops as having grown "out of the squatted anarchist centres of the 1980s, such as the 121 Centre in Brixton, London."[3] Another big influence was the regular European-wide International Infoshop Meetings of the 1990s.

Writing in Maximum RocknRoll, anarchist librarian Chuck Munson places North American infoshops in the lineage of Vietnam War era peace and justice centers.[4]


In June 2006, the Infoshop Network, a network spanning Canada and the United States, was formed at the Infoshop Gathering in Baltimore, Maryland.[5]

List of infoshops

North America


Name Location Website
ABC No Rio New York City
Anarres Infoshop Portland Anarres Infoshop
Bluestockings New York City
Boxcar Books Bloomington, Indiana
Cafe Infoshop [1] Fresno, CA
Camas Infoshop Victoria, BC
Civic Media Center Gainesville, Florida
Coffee Strong Lakewood, WA
Documentations, Informations, Références et Archives (DIRA) Montreal, Quebec
Firestorm Cafe & Books Asheville, North Carolina
Flyover Infoshop Carbondale, Illinois Flyover Infoshop
Insoumise bookstore Montreal, Quebec
Internationalist Books Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Long Haul Infoshop Berkeley, California
Lucy Parsons Center Boston, Massachusetts
McMicken FreeSpace Cincinnati, Ohio McMicken FreeSpace
Taala Hooghan Infoshop Flagstaff, Arizona Taala Hooghan Infoshop
The Blood-Orange InfoShop Riverside, California The Blood-Orange InfoShop
The Madison InfoShop Madison, Wisconsin The Madison InfoShop
The Old Market Autonomous Zone Winnipeg, Canada
Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse Baltimore, Maryland
Spartacus Books Vancouver, BC
Wooden Shoe Books Philadelphia





A panoramic view of the interior of the Lucy Parsons Center in Boston, United States.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Atton, Chris (1999). The infoshop: the alternative information centre of the 1990s. Emerald Insight. Retrieved 3 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "WE HAVE A BIG ZINE LIBRARY!". Retrieved 3 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Street Libraries: Infoshops and Alternative Reading Rooms
  4. Maximumrocknroll article on infoshops
  5. The Infoshop Network

External links

Infoshop Directories