National Libraries Day

The Lanchester Library of Coventry University celebrated National Libraries Day today with a series of events which run simultaneously from 11am to 5pm. Activities included Sound and Vision Installation, interactive arts, a question and answer session, synchronised ironing and more so, an amnesty on all library fines below 10 pounds.

The Interactive Arts session was run by Lynne Langton; MA Contemporary Art Practice student, who had a large sheet of white paper spread out on the floor with books scattered around. I love drawing and that’s what brought me to Coventry to study she said.

Adding: “I have been holding conversations with people who walked by and invite them to draw on the white sheet or throw a book on the floor in whichever direction they wanted.”

Jenny Parkin, study support lecturer for Lynne said: “What she is doing is incorporating the text and thought of a book. A library can seem sterile sometimes but Lynne is opening drawing and text for all ages in a relaxed and informal way which is good.”

Amy Weir and Emma Smith, second year music performance students, dressed as house wives demonstrated synchronised ironing; which is meant to be a random form of visual art for people to look at as they walked past.

Access Development Manager for Coventry City, Sorrelle Clements’ session reminisced on the libraries of ‘the good old days’ and the libraries today. She commented: “People have different expectations of what a library should be like. Some like a library where children can come and have a story telling time with noise while others prefer a quiet library. We to try to cater for all individuals.”

Poetry writer, Deborah Alma, dressed in a white coat with a stethoscope ran the emergency poet work shop. Emergency Poet ran like a clinic where people go in, lie down on the couch and after a ten minute consultation, she prescribed them an appropriate poem. Her patients were people at the library who were feeling tired, stressed, anxious or even lovesick.

She said: “What I do seems like a silly idea but it’s underpinned with something serious.”

As keen readers and book lovers were milling about on all floors of the library, students flocked to the reception desk in their numbers to have their library fines waved off.