In an age of digital abundance and a possible double dip recession the traditional book world has been hit hard. Possible ways forward to explore and develop literature and books are being trialled by the if:book Unlibrary Cafe.
THE UNLIBRARY CAFE, is a space at Hornsey Library in North London and a project to explore the future of the book place. The Unlibrary Cafe is much more than a place to get a cup of good coffee and something to eat. It extends and explores the nature of how spaces within what we now know and love as libraries might evolve and indeed need to change to sustain literature communities and books in the digital age.
The Unlibrary Cafe is part of the IFSOFLOW Network and was was founded by Anke Holst and Chris Meade. The Unlibrary aims to create a local and global hub for community digital publishing, collaborating with writers, literature workers, teachers and creative businesses.
The traditional view of public libraries is that they are places where traditionally published books are kept and people given access to them to read, borrow take home and read. This kind of library has increasingly come under threat of closure as public sector cuts hit home and the digitization of books and other literature grows.
If libraries and their role in sustaining local, national and global literature communities are to thrive then the way that they are set up and used as literature spaces needs to change and beyond the simple introduction of digital workstations or so called cyber cafes. The Unlibrary Cafe is an example of how library space might be used more creatively and meet the needs of both the traditional and digital literature communities becoming more than the sum of what now constitutes both.
The Unlibrary Cafe at Hornsey Library is up and running and its digital tentacles are already reaching out to both local and global literature communities. You can find out more about the Unlibrary Cafe and the IFSLOFLO Network and its aspirations by visiting the IFSLOFLO NETWORK website.