All this work in and for libraries made me question why we go back to them again and again as a creative source.
Could it be the space itself? Although each venue is different, I have been lucky enough to work in some very attractive libraries, particularly the very modern Clapham library (whose collection spirals round a central chamber, much like the Guggenheim Museum in New York) and Senate House library, part of the University of Central London (a space that is grand, but surprisingly intimate - full of wood-panelling and hidden so spaces). A friend once said that books create habitats, so perhaps even the most bland of library spaces are enlivened aesthetically by their collections?
|Clapham Library. Image source: Facebook|
|Guggenheim Museum. Image source: Wikipedia|
|Senate House Library. Image source: Wikipedia|
Could it be their ethos? In principal public libraries are free and open - generally free of charge and accessible to all. What other environments are as egalitarian as this? Coming into a place, sitting down and reading for the afternoon, or taking a book away is a refreshing experience. When I'm between places (between home and work for example) I often find myself in coffee shops. These seem like between-spaces for me, but they come at a price (allbeit a modest one). Perhaps if there were libraries on my way that were open the same hours, I might find myself there! But then, that said, there are not a lot of libraries that could feed my caffeine addiction.