www.publiclibraryof.net

Timeline Public Library Of ongoing research project

Oktober 2021
Voorbereidingen voor 3 nieuwe zines (kleine publicaties) en één hernieuwde uitgave in de serie Public Library Of - zines over de bieb met Joke van der Zwaard, Frans Ari Prasetyo, Gabriel Curtin & Eva Olthof. Met illustraties door Agent OH. Uitgegeven door PrintRoom en ontworpen door Nicole Martens
Verwacht: eind november 2021

September 2021
Voorbereiding Workshop Denk mee over de toekomst van de bibliotheek op uitnodiging van ProBiblio bij Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam op 29 november. Ondersteund door PrintRoom.

Wij zijn de bieb!
Biebgebruikers brengen de bieb tot leven, zonder ons heeft de bieb weinig bestaansrecht. Voor gebruikers en leden van de bieb zijn er echter weinig mogelijkheden om écht mee te denken over de bieb en haar toekomst. In deze workshop onderzoeken we hoe de inbreng van biebgebruikers verder kan reiken dan het online Biebpanel en de ‘vertel ’t ons’ box. Stel je voor dat wij ons als gebruikers/leden zouden verenigen; hoe zou dat eruit kunnen zien? Wat zouden onze wensen en eisen zijn?
In de workshop zullen we samen de reikwijdte van ‘lidmaatschap’ onderzoeken, brainstormen over de democratische bieb en toewerken naar een biebgebruikers-manifest. Biebgebruikers verenigt u!
Probiblio / Pakhuis de Zwijger

Juni 2021
Ik mis de Bieb! Advertentie in de wijkkrant Feijenoord.
9 jaar geleden verdween de bieb uit onze wijk. Een groot gemis. In Rotterdam is 21% van de beroepsbevolking laaggeletterd. In heel Nederland is dat 12%. Feijenoord (het stadsdeel) kent het hoogste percentage van Rotterdam: 36%
Waar zat de bieb? De bieb zat in het gebouw aan de Oranjeboomstraat 132. Waar nu de Birth Company zit. Tegenover Emak Tabaksshop.
Mis jij de bieb ook? Waarom mis je de bieb? Mail je mening naar: evaolthof@gmail.com

April/Mei 2021
OPEN DE BIEB! MERCH t-shirts, badges, postcards (i.c.w PrintRoom)
Sinds 6 april 2021 heb ik aandacht gevraagd voor de gesloten bieb. Eind maart mochten we weer op afspraak winkelen bij 'niet essentiële' winkels en een paar weken later mochten we ook weer op het terras plaatsen nemen - al die tijd mochten we niet naar de bieb. Terwijl Covid-19 en de lockdown sommige groepen mensen - oud en jong - extra hard raakt. Mensen die klein wonen en niet thuis kunnen studeren, die geen toegang hebben tot internet, of thuis geen boeken hebben, laat staan kunnen kopen.

winter 20/21
WIJ ZIJN DE BIEB! voorstel voor een kunstproject in de Centrale Bibliotheek Rotterdam
fragment:
'Als fanatiek biebgebruiker en zelfstandig kunstenaar fantaseert Eva al een tijdje over het idee als bieblid inspraak te hebben en mee te mogen denken over de bieb. Een actieve community van biebleden zorgt immers voor een actieve bieb! Wat verandert er als biebleden van zich kunnen laten horen en een klankbord kunnen vormen met betrekking tot bijvoorbeeld de collectie, programmering, faciliteiten en wellicht het koffieaanbod? Wat gebeurt er als de bibliotheek de stap zet naar co-creatie zoals in het beleidsplan beschreven staat? Op welke manier kan die stap gezet worden? Ze is dan ook erg blij te lezen dat de bieb zichzelf in haar beleidsplan van 2021-24 profileert met een zelfde soort idee. Met de titel Ván, voor en met iedere Rotterdammer geeft de bieb duidelijk aan klaar te zijn voor directe input van haar gebruikers! En samen met jullie, de bieb, zouden wij dit dolgraag willen onderzoeken vanuit een creatieve invalshoek.'

June 2020
Buurboek - A poster designed and distributed on invitation of PrintRoom for the project Venster Zien. Harnessing the great Dutch tradition of raamdecoratie, domestic window displays, PrintRoom created a series of riso printed posters for our neighbours to customise and publish in their windows. Buurboek is an idea that arose during the Corona lock-down and the closure of the Public Library. The poster encourages neighbors to lend to and borrow books from the personal libraries of their neigbors.

Dec 2019
Expertmeeting co-organised with and at PrintRoom Rotterdam on how to make the Public Library a more democratic place. With invited experts from KB Den Haag, Pro Biblio, TAAK Amsterdam & Leeszaal West Rotterdam.

Okt 2019
- Interview research with Amsterdam based collective TAAK for their research on Vrije Ruimte in de Stad in relation to my Public Library research
- On invitation of the Education department of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen I talked about the Public Library Of research

Sept 2019

- DEAR BIEB #1 is a PrintRoom Publication (#23). It is for sale for €3 at PrintRoom Rotterdam and at The PrintRoom stand at the New York Art book fair 2019
PrintRoom

- Sept 13th Presentation at PrintRoom Rotterdam on zine and Public Library Of project

August 2019
Start of a long term collaboration with PrintRoom Rotterdam on the Public Library Of project.

Oktober 2018
Trip to US visiting: Interference Archive, The ABC No Rio Zine Library in Exile at the Clemente, Reanimation Library, New York Public Library, Queens Library and Brooklyn Central Library in New York City. Punk Archive of the DC Public Library Washington DC. Chicago: Marc Fischer/Temporary Services/Library Excavations, Read/Write Library, Joan Flasch Artists' Books Collection, several Chicago Public Libraries.

December 2017
Public Library of / Perpustakaan Umum…
Discussion with KUNCI cultural studies center, Ruma Baca Komunitas, Eva Olthof & Audience

Introduction
(edit 27 November 2018)

In the Netherlands (the country where I live), previous years there has been an emergence of self-organised libraries and other book related initiatives. Activists, scholars and artists start libraries for differing reasons: the need for disclosure of forgotten or ignored histories by the mainstream institutions (the Black Archives in Amsterdam). The need for a new meeting place for the local community due to the closing of a branch library because of budget cuts (Leeszaal West in Rotterdam). Should we consider the emergence of self-organised libraries as indirect critiques of existing public libraries? If so, what critiques can we identify and how can we transform these into new ideas and proposals to challenge the status quo of the public library in Netherlands?

In the US public libraries play a vital role in the lives of many of its citizens. Because of this fact I visited several public libraries and self-organised libraries in the cities NYC, DC and Chicago, in October 2018. I wanted to see how these different kinds of libraries function (in scale, in collection, in organisation, in communities they serve), how they are challenged - from within by library workers and outside by patrons (or not) - and how they themselves try to challenge their users in becoming an active part of a community (or not).

In NYC I visited the Interference Archive, The ABC No Rio Zine Library in Exile at the Clemente, Reanimation Library. All independent self-organised libraries with different aims but all with a purpose to keep and collect those kind of printed matter which is either not or hardly part of bigger institutions, of a larger narrative (Zine library & Interference archive) or not seen as important to keep (reanimation library which consist out of 'out of date' books, content wise, but harbor a very specific aesthetics and visual value).

Public libraries I visited in NYC where: New York Public Library, Queens Library and Brooklyn Central Library - where I had the chance to speak to Nora Fisher, who works as an art curator at BCL, about artists potential to animate and transform public libraries. In Washington DC I went to the Punk Archive of the DC Public Library, where I spoke to archivist Michele Castro one of the initiators of this location specific archive. We spoke about how it came about and how they build a community around the collection they have through programming (e.g. by organising Punk concerts in the Library basement for all ages). In Chicago I had the great pleasure to stay with Marc Fischer of the collective Temporary Services - who actively works in libraries (mainly the Harold Washington Central Library) and publishes about his finds in the series Library Excavations through their own publishing imprint Half Letter Press. Together we visited some of the South Side Branch Libraries - libraries that serve some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. In Chicago I also met with Nell Taylor of Read/Write Library a library made by the community about the community and with April Sheridan of the Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

More output in different forms will follow.

Many thanks to Simon Kentgens, Laura Almagor, Miriam Mora, Yunjoo Kwak, Doug Ashford, Cora Fisher, Michele Castro, Marc Fischer, Jen Blair, April Sheridan & Nell Taylor !!

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Earlier phase(s) of the project took place in Yogyakarta, Surabaya & Bandung; Java, Indonesia. An island in a country with few public libraries but many grassroots libraries. In Indonesia there has never been a substantial public library system. Self-organized libraries have filled some of these gaps. In what significant political moment(s) did they arise? What impact do libraries have on local communities? Can a library function as a public safe space that is open to different voices? Which tactics are deployed by self-organized libraries to encourage uncensored and unrestricted access to information? Together with KUNCI Cultural Study Center and Rumah Baca Kommunitas Yogya a discussion was organised on 17 December 2017.

In the discussion KUNCI Cultural Studies Center and library shared their founding history just after reformasi, their collection and the way they run it. Rumah Baca Komunitas started in 2012 and runs a ‘fixed’ library and a mobile library (Perpustakaan Jalanan, started in 2014) (Perpustakaan Jalanan) – every sunday they can be found at Alun Alun Kidul where they, aside to providing books, create a space for debate on local issues that directly effect the lives of Jogja citizens.

Running-up to this discussion afternoon I visited and met up with several library, publishing and other 'read' related grassroots organisations. Terima kasih KUNCI cultural studies center, Rumah Baca Komunitas Yogya, Zine Library Yogya, C2O library & collabtive, Milisi fotocopy, Ultimus, Gerilya, Perpustakaan Jalanan Bandung, Perpustakaan Jalanan Yogya. Thanks for sharing ideas, tactics and knowledge on libraries and self organization, access to uncensored and unrestricted information, spread of literacy, independent publishing and the commitment to create public spaces to discuss social political issues through the prism of the book and the (mobile) library.

All images by Eva Olthof
Images below: all taken in the US, 2018

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