Drum roll please...
Matt Webber and I have just released our new book.
Library Book is an exploration of the history and the the changing face of the hundred year old public library in Weston-super-Mare. In 2012 the old library building closed it's doors for the final time and the library service moved into the newly refurbished Town Hall along with most of the other council services.
Anthropologist Matt Webber and I were given unrestricted access to the library's historical archives and permission to document the move as it happened. The result of this project is Library Book.
This event marked the culmination of a two year relationship between us and the North Somerset Library Service. It also signaled the beginning of a national tour exploring the changed face of libraries in the UK in 2014.
Tomorrow evening (Tuesday May 6th) I am speaking at the Bristol Festival of Photography about my experiences of making Library Book and of how it sits alongside my other ongoing project The Writing on The Wall
Then we head North...
Jesmond Library in Newcastle hosts us on Thursday lunchtime (May 8th), alongside a presentation by one of the local volunteers about their experience of reopening their library for the community after council closures. Friday involves afterwork drinks with the patrons of the George and Dragon Community Pub on the North Yorkshire Moors. This pub closed in August 2008 and sat empty for two years until it was bought and reopened in 2010 by the villagers as a community pub, library, village shop and allotments. The Northern leg of the Library Book Tour will end this Saturday May 10th in Burnage Activity Hub, Manchester, a facility which embodies a new relationship between council services and local volunteers.
This is not the end. Matt and I will be running a stall at Bookfest (Warwick Arts Centre) on Saturday May 17th and we are planning a number of London events later in the month. For up to date info check our tour calendar.