Okay, this is my last time paraphrasing that passage from Nabokov which kicked off this series of blog posts.
I could also distinguish the glint of a special puddle (the one Krug had somehow perceived through the layer of his own life), an oblong puddle invariably acquiring the same form after every shower because of the constant spatulate shape of a depression in the ground. Possibly something of the kind may be said to occur in regard to the imprint we leave in the intimate texture of space.
Nabokov is writing about a fictional character, but I’ve been arguing that all of us, living and dead, real and fictional, leave these kind of impressions in the world through words, images, deeds, artefacts – the kind of things which it’s a library’s job to help members of the public find and use as they see fit.
In my previous post, ‘The Mission of the Librarian’, I used an essay by the philosopher Ortega y Gasset to suggest that librarianship itself was, like the other professions, one of these puddly spaces, slowly etched by our peers and predecessors, which we get to fill with our own daily life and action.
Usually I’m more excited by librarians than libraries. Politicians like cutting the ribbons on big new builds of steel and glass, but what interests me is what services you can provide when there’s zero budget, zero resources, the politicians disapprove, and all you really have is your own imagination and initiative. I really like that R. David Lankes sometimes asks if librarianship has a future separate from libraries themselves – and I pushed pretty hard for Auckland’s librarians to go off-site and offer their services in other spaces, like comic book stores and even bars.
BUT…I have been thinking about library spaces too, since I last wrote.
I’m currently working on a couple of projects that provoked this.