Bookspace: Collected Essays on Libraries addresses the architecture of modern public spaces and the development of library
collections in the age of digital information, in order to
discuss the larger social context of libraries as institutions.
Featured libraries include the British Library, the Bibliothèque
Nationale de France and Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in
Paris, the Belgian Royal Library, the Grimm-Zentrum Library
at Humboldt University of Berlin, the Dar El-Kutub (National
Library of Egypt), the New York Public Library, and many others.
A conversation with David Pearson, Director of Culture,
Heritage and Libraries at the City of London Corporation,
opens the discussion with insights into the social role of
libraries, their management, and their changing functions.
Other contributions include architect João Torres on his
ArchiPrix-winning design for Lisbon’s Central Library and
Municipal Archive, and writer and architect Jorge Reis on
the historical roots of library architecture. Publisher and
designer Marie Lécrivain shares her experience using libraries
across London, Brussels, Paris, and beyond, while Egyptian
journalist Heba El-Sherif discusses ‘the right to know’ and
freedom of access to information in post-revolutionary Cairo.
Photographer Julius Motal traces the daily interaction between
public space and library visitors through a series of photographs taken at NYPL’s famous main branch in Manhattan.
Finally, Tom Vandeputte, course director of the MFA Critical
Studies at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam, shares his
views on current developments in academic libraries and the
implications for the future ‘politics of study’.