This is a project dedicated to documenting Alternative Library Spaces pertaining to the domains of arts and humanities. Even though they could be simply referred to as Special Libraries, the former term seems more appropriate. Alternative library spaces denote library/reading room spaces that are part of other institutions such as art galleries, artist-run centers, magazine publishing houses, etc.
This project has evolved out of a personal observation on the nature of artist-run spaces and other art organizations. Every art institution by its nature is bound to accumulate print materials (be that exhibition catalogues, brochures, event invitations, artist books and publications, zines, various periodicals or other ephemera). As these resources are constantly obtained, the questions regarding their use and storage quickly arise. Many such organizations have very limited space and yet they manage to hold on to these valuable materials.Unfortunately, however, these resources are rarely known about or made use of by the greater community.
The main focus of this project is to highlight the importance and unique character of such spaces (as opposed to public, academic and more specific art/design libraries that are part of universities and colleges) and to establish how they can be further used and developed by the institutions they belong to and by the broader public.
This is an ongoing project, beginning with the documentation of the spaces in Vancouver, Canada, and later extending to other areas around the world.