Group Search considers our use of the library in many ways. Library visitors are looking for something; we enter a system in order to find it, and welcome surprising discoveries within our often-solitary search. We are active, inquisitive viewers in a visually complex environment that includes the architecture, the systems of categorization, the stacks and the furniture, the machines and signage, the escalators and glass, and the movement of people within.
Kathy Slade undertook a 52-week performance, beginning in September 2006, resulting in a unique bookwork. Once a week, on an appointed day and time, she visited the Vancouver Public Library to choose and borrow a book. Each transaction receipt, which clearly states the date, time and book title, was digitally scanned and saved. Because the receipts are printed on thermal paper, they will slowly fade. At the end of the year, these documents from the performance were assembled into an artists’ book that was donated to the Vancouver Public Library Special Collections.
A library is one of the last refuges for the democratic potential of a shared cultural consciousness, a true public commons. Reading takes many forms here – at times it is a very directed, instrumental pursuit of particular forms of knowledge, at other times it is more intuitive, a mental wandering, where one book leads to the next, through footnotes and bibliographies, and through browsing in the stacks.
Displays, created by library staff and community groups, can be found throughout the many areas of the library, drawing attention to national days of remembrance, seasonal holidays, and topics of interest to library users, and highlighting different books and resources. Often found on the escalator landings, framed by the Copier room wall, these displays use familiar materials and presentation techniques to animate the space of the library.
Call Numbers: The Library RecordingsCall Numbers: The Library Recordings allowed viewers to turn their catalogue searches into musical compositions. Using the Vancouver Public Library’s on-line catalogue at www.vpl.ca, viewers performed an author or keyword search.
Vancouver Public Library November 2006 – February 2007 The visual economy of Vancouver streets includes both official and unofficial modes of public address. In transitional locations, such as hoardings that surround new construction or buildings slated for demotion, one often sees advertising posters. This ‘grey’ marketing practice occupies such contingent real estate on a temporary […]