Wednesday, 31 March 2010

unlibrarianship?

Anna The Itinerant Poetry Librarian has been travelling the world for years with her rucksacks of books and librarian costume, living by skipping and couch surfing, setting up library in cafes, streets, nightclubs and best of all within other libraries, moving around Europe, across the USA and now back to study for a PHD in London. I met her this lunchtime at the British Library... and then she was gone.

Below are some gems of wisdom from the Librarian's website
The encounter got me thinking that the Unlibrarian is even more important than the Unlibrary in creating a free, democratic space where people can explore the infinite library of the web in a heightened state in the midst of their local community. And it made me smile.  

from: Services and Procedures

The service function of the Library is to assist Members in obtaining needed or not knowingly needed information of a Lost and Forgotten poetry-like nature.

Membership of the Library is Free.

Membership of the Library is limited to all humans, vegetables, minerals and other organic forms upon successfully undergoing Joining procedures.

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The Library acquires and maintains an intellectually imbalanced Collection to support the personal enrichment, education and research goals of an individual who may seek to join the Library.

FAQs ... aka ‘what are you trying to do?’ Well, we’re here to ...

  • Remind people of the importance of free public libraries
  • Subvert mainstream channels of distribution
  • Remind people that access to knowledge should be free and not dependent upon economic wealth hierarchies
  • Show people that poetry/art can provide answers to questions we ask of life
  • Experiment in existing outside of 'the market' – thereby, instead, investing in social capital, social innovation and community.

Incidental FAQs

  • Yes we carry our entire life and the library with us as we go
  • Yes, it is quite heavy
  • No, we're not mad. As the former US Poet Laureate, Charles Simic, once said, 'But what if poets are not crazy?' That's the spirit boyo!..
And there's lots more. 

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