A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Tag: library

TYPE-RIGHTER // state library

Visiting the State Library of New South Wales is always an enjoyable experience and the Mitchell Vestibule quote engraved in the sandstone foyer is a perfect example of classic type that resonates. It hints at the treasures nestled inside the oldest library in Australia that was established in 1826. There is an extensive range of heritage-listed special collections and references, plus my love for reading makes the library a nostalgic haven. Beautiful vintage books are on display with stunning cover designs and elaborate illustrations, providing much inspiration for artists, designers and typographers.

There are multiple exhibitions at any given time on interesting subjects and they are open to the public for free. Sydney Elders by Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones, tells the stories of four Aboriginal elders (Uncle Chicka, Aunty Esme, Aunty Sandra, Uncle Dennis) with personal accounts of growing up in Sydney, their ancestors, as well as their contribution and legacy in our city. Another exhibit that was impressive and well curated was Dead Central. Taking you back to 19th century Sydney when there was a vast cemetery that opened in 1820, exactly where Central Station now stands. I never knew that a major burial ground with over 30,000 bodies was cleared in 1901 to make way for the station, and I don’t think many other Sydneysiders know this about the historic site. To begin with there is the clever use of type printed on black tape in two lines like a train track running along the hallway leading to the entrance. All the signage, backdrops, photography and displays are beautifully designed and complement the audio recordings and video reels perfectly.

WEEKEND WRAP // word on the street

I’m an avid reader and a lover of books but I still haven’t bought into the whole digital e-book reader technology. I love everything about a paperback – the feel of holding a book, the smell of the print and turning the worn pages (feel free to call me weird!).

Walking around Sydney streets I’ve noticed more street libraries popping up in front yards of homes, schools and public spaces. This is a growing trend which I adore and fully endorse. The wooden boxes house books people have left and lets others take them and leave their own if they like. It’s a swap system with no obligation where you can leave a book at your leisure, but ultimately you want to give back and keep it circulating.

Street Library Australia has valuable information about how they are run and locations across the country. The City of Sydney is also backing the project by running workshops on how to build and install a street library. The concept has been successful globally too, with about 40,000 libraries in more than 70 countries.

This idea creates a sharing vibe among the community and it gives residents a sense of control and input in their area. It’s encouraging reading and literacy among children, especially when schools get involved. Neighbours who may have not known each other before now get a chance to meet and feel inclusive in their suburb.

 

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