The humble local library has taken a bashing over the past few years. From the domination of the internet and web 2.0 culture, electronic books and dwindling state investment, the future of the ‘library’ and its place in contemporary society remains ambivalent.
In regards to understanding and debating the relevance of libraries, the changes in human behaviour and how we chose to interact with information, art and social spaces, the reasons stated above are actually only the tip of the iceberg. However the fact remains that the library still endures as a place that celebrates the concept of the story – fictional or otherwise– data and perspectives of history.
During this year’s National Storytelling Week, we launched a pilot campaign Cut // Copy // Paste in partnership with Arts Council, Hackney Council and Small Green Shoots. We engaged a group of young people from Pupil Referral Unit Inspire! Hackney with their local library – C.L.R. James – in Dalston.
Working with the extended LBB family Sky Nash, Emily Evans and The Insomniax, the programme’s aim was to help the students tell their personal stories and create their own narratives. Using poetry, illustration and print collage, the project culminated in a collection of A6 zines exhibited in the library – making the experience of forms of print and the library, experiential.
Throughout the workshop programme the students exercised critical thinking, learned about concepts of ‘brand’, storytelling techniques within advertising and music, narrative arches, visual storytelling and how to use steadfast library resources such as reference books and the trusted photocopier to create their vision.
Follow our story’s journey on the Cut // Copy // Paste tumblr and catch the exhibition running until the 15th March.
Dalston C.L.R. James Library | Dalston Square | Dalston | E8 3BQ