Thursday, August 25, 2016

Libraries and Liberation

...it isn't just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.

― Isaac Asimov


Recently I was invited to send a postcard to the Embry Hills Library in Atlanta, USA. The branch manager, Deborah Stone, asked people of different professions around the world to write about where we’re from, what we do and what libraries mean to us. It's a smart, engaging way to encourage children's curiosity about the world and to broaden their ideas about the possibilities they can pursue in life. Of course, it's also a fun way to encourage travel – another kind of education. 


When I was young and didn’t have the money to access great education I dropped out of uni’ (several times). Instead of receiving a formal tertiary education I went to the state library five days a week for around eight months. I arrived when it opened and stayed until it closed. I read about art, semiotics, sex, history, critical theory, strategy and so on. After that I held my first exhibition. I returned to libraries often over the years. I don’t know what I would have done without a way to further educate myself for free.

Above: Mrs. Stone holding my postcard after it arrived (photograph courtesy of her daughter – thank you both for inviting me to participate).

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