Launch of Public Library Of – Zines on library controversies and library love.
A project by Eva Olthof.
Friday 4 March 2022, 18:30hrs (doors open at 18hrs)
PrintRoom, Schietbaanstraat 17, Rotterdam
Public Library Of is a series of zines which zoom in on public library controversies in different parts of the world. For each of the zines one specifically invited guest sheds light on a local library issue. This first edition of 200 copies, comprises 5 contributions, which are set in Alice Springs (AU), Bandung (ID) and Rotterdam (NL) with detours to Amsterdam and Spijkenisse (NL), Chicago (US) and Inverness (UK). The zines, published and riso printed at PrintRoom, feature multiple texts, newspaper clippings, fieldwork pictures, a poem and drawings.
With presentations by Eva Olthof (visual artist) and Joke van der Zwaard (researcher and writer, co-initiator Leeszaal West) and video contributions by Frans Ari Prasetyo (researcher), Gabriel Curtin (artist, writer, editor) and Agent OH (artist, member of KUNCI). The program is subject to change. This evening is part of PrintRoom’s and Eva Olthof’s ongoing collaboration.
Since working on her long-term research project Public Library Of, Eva Olthof has had many encounters and inspiring conversations with people in different parts of the world that have the public library (and/or self-organised libraries) close to their heart. At the same time, they all observe the challenges which the institutions or users face firsthand: the closing of libraries, recurrent budget cuts, libraries used as instruments for city marketing lacking profound visions, opposition to self-organised initiatives, or – in times of a pandemic – libraries becoming places of exclusion instead of inclusion.
Eva Olthof is a visual artist based in Rotterdam (NL). In recent years her work has focused on public and self-organised libraries, examining how to make the public library a (more) democratic place by collectively re-thinking its current state through means of art, publishing, history and philosophy.
Joke van der Zwaard researches and writes about social issues in the city. She is co-initiator of Leeszaal West and Jeugdbieb West, both citizens libraries in Oude Westen Rotterdam (NL). All newspaper clippings in Public Library Of are part of Joke’s collection.Frans Ari Prasetyo is an External Research Associate at York University. He is based in Bandung (ID) and works on urban-ecology politics with various grassroots communities, underground collectives and representatives of the marginalised urban population.
Gabriel Curtin is an artist, writer and editor living and working in Alice Springs (AUS) on unceded Arrernte Country. His work is broadly concerned with poetry’s ability to locate and enact relations unencumbered by policy.
Published and riso printed at PrintRoom