You’ll see that we’ve created installation work for a number of libraries in the North East. Peterhead Library saw the work we had undertaken from NEFA (North East Folklore Archive) and wanted a take on this that complemented the interior of the library.
This is where it began with two simple glass fronted panels depicting poetry and images from Peterhead.
Westhill Library was the second Library we looked at after Peterhead. However, this time the treatment was radically different.
Westhill is a new, purpose-built Library which is housed in the School and is used by pupils and the general public. Libraries have undergone a significant transformation recently. They are no longer seen as vessels to house endless rows of books. They are now seen as cultural hubs where people can relax (with a coffee and a soft seat), read, learn and discuss. They are warm and inviting places to visit.
We were asked to think about the notion of libraries – we wanted to impress all these positive aspects of a new-look library onto the visitor. And we did this with words.
Bookshelves are sorted into sections – Children’s, Heritage and Local History, Travel and so on. The categories for these sections were already present atop the shelving systems, so to simply repeat this would be… pointless, not to mention boring.
Instead, we conceptualised these categories and looked at the power of books and information – what they do to the reader or viewer and how words can empower and liberate.
We started with a simple ‘hello’ instead of ‘welcome’ – ‘hello’ being far more informal and relaxed. We’ve used contemporary font with soft edges to continue this theme. And of course, it’s all about those words of inspiration. We didn’t want those words to get boring, so they relate to the here and now.
Every time you visit Westhill Library you can read those words and they will still hold value.