The Infrastructure of Public Libraries
This exploration, curated by Dr Alice Corble, traces public library infrastructures within their urban contexts in three different London boroughs: Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Lewisham.
Alice is currently an Associate Lecturer and Research Assistant in Sociology at Goldsmiths. She has eight years’ professional experience working in public, community and academic libraries, which began with a training programme in ‘radical librarianship’ at The Feminist Library in London in 2010. She is a member of the Radical Libraries Collective and the Save Lewisham Libraries Campaign. Alice was recently awarded her PhD in Sociology from Goldsmiths University in London titled ‘The Death and Life of English Public Libraries: Infrastructural Practices and Value in a Time of Crisis’, which is based on ethnographic research conducted in the cities and libraries of London and Birmingham between 2013-2016.
We will meet at 9.30am at the Whitechapel Ideas Store (nearest station: Whitechapel (London Overground, District and Hammersmith and City Lines). Note: there is unfortunately no step-free access at this station).
From here we will walk to Watney Market Ideas Store before travelling on the Overground from Shadwell to Canada Water (3 stops, zone 2, both stations have step-free access) to visit Canada Water Library. We will continue our journey on the Overground to New Cross Gate (2 stops, zone 2, step-free access) to visit Deptford Lounge and New Cross Learning on foot. We anticipate arriving at New Cross Learning at around 12.30/1pm.
Alice has recommended that in advance of the Exploration, participants read:
Mattern, S. (2014) ‘Library as Infrastructure’, Places Journal. Available at: https://placesjournal.org/article/library-as-infrastructure/
Klinenberg, E. (2018) ‘Palaces for the people: why libraries are more than just books’, The Guardian, 24 September. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/sep/24/palaces-for-the-people-at-the-library-everyone-is-welcome
Please wear weather-suitable clothes and footwear and bring drinks, snacks and a valid Oystercard or Travelcard. The walking will take place on pavements and paths in high-traffic areas. Access to and in the libraries may involve steps (for more details see the links below). Please contact us if you have any access requirements.
AccessAble guides to the Idea Stores and Libraries:
We hope that you can join us, please let us know if you would like to come along or if you have any questions.
Louise (email@example.com) and Laura (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dates & times
If you are attending an event and need the College to help with any mobility requirements you may have, please contact the event organiser in advance to ensure we can accommodate your needs.