Story Mode event 3: FREEDOM!

Digital Makings

Story Mode / EVENT 3: FREEDOM!

Gateshead Central Library, Tuesday 13 June 2017, 4pm – 7pm

FREE but booking required. Book your place via email to – RachelHorton@Gateshead.Gov.UK

Story Mode is a series of events that actively explore the role that Libraries play in their communities via a critical engagement with contemporary creative digital practices and how this activity can enable Libraries to grow in capacity and profile.

It will present new ways of working through presenting experiences and approaches from local, national and international practitioners. Story Mode events will connect Libraries to current engagement practices in contemporary visual, digital and narrative arts.

The third Story Mode event is on the theme of ‘Freedom!’.

An international SKYPE session planned with Speakers, Nora O’ Murchú , Davor Miscovic and Marc Garrett. All three are active and respected curators working in the fields of Digital and New media. They will explore the theme to bring their own perspectives, practice and thoughts to idea of freedom. Exploring the effects that pervasive digital media, social networks and mass surveillance have had upon us in the cultural sector? Can we speak our minds? Does this affect our creative output?  This is of relevance to how Libraries can understand their communities and promote local history, culture and identity, and investigate the role technology plays in local engagement.

This event is aimed at library professionals, socially engaged arts practitioners, local community organisations and anyone with related interests. Story Mode events will explore different themes – other events will follow in 2017. Story Mode is produced by Dominic Smith (Artist/ Curator, UK), commissioned by the Gateshead Libraries and Culture Team, Gateshead Council as part of their Digital Makings programme. Digital Makings is supported by Arts Council England.

Story Mode 3 – Freedom!


  • 3:30pm- Doors open/ Registration
  • 4pm – Event starts/ Welcome
  • 4:10pm – Introduction – Dr Dominic Smith
  • 4:15pm – 1st speaker – Nora O’ Murchú
  • 5:00pm – 2nd speaker – Davor Miscovic
  • 5:45 – 3rd speaker – Marc Garrett
  • 6:30 pm – 7pm – Group discussion and networking

Speakers Bios

Nora O’ Murchú –

Nora O’ Murchú is a curator & designer, whose research examines the intersections between the fields of art, design, software studies, and politics. In particular she is concerned with exploring the influence of late capitalism on social, civic, and financial infrastructures. Her multidisciplinary practice embraces narratives, and fictions and results in objects, exhibitions, and interventions. Her research aims to help people understand how complex socio-technical systems are imagined, built & used. She has held positions as research associate for the Interaction Design Centre at the University of Limerick, & the Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths, and CRUMB at the University of Sunderland. During this period she has curated Run Computer, Run – a festival of new media art that explored emerging, and established contemporary, cultural, and critical issues that arise from artists intersections, and investigations with digital technology. She has curated exhibitions, & events for institutions including the Science Gallery, Rua Red, Resonate Festival in Belgrade, & White Box Gallery in New York. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Davor Mišković –

Davor Mišković is president of the association Drugo more (Other Sea), part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka and president of the Clubture Network.He worked at the Faculty of Science and Croatian Ministry of Culture. He curated and organized numerous cultural events, conferences and educational programs, collaborated on several research projects and has taken part in many cultural management and consulting bodies.Davor Mišković is president of the association Drugo more (Other Sea), part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka and president of the Clubture Network.He worked at the Faculty of Science and Croatian Ministry of Culture. He curated and organized numerous cultural events, conferences and educational programs, collaborated on several research projects and has taken part in many cultural management and consulting bodies.

Marc Garrett –

Marc Garrett is co-director and co-founder, with artist Ruth Catlow of the Internet arts collectives and communities –,,, also co-founder and co-curator/director of the gallery space formerly known as ‘HTTP Gallery’ now called the Furtherfield Gallery in London (Finsbury Park), UK. Co-curating various contemporary Media Arts exhibitions, projects nationally and internationally. Co-editor of ‘Artists Re:Thinking Games’ with Ruth Catlow and Corrado Morgana 2010. Hosted Furtherfield’s critically acclaimed weekly broadcast on UK’s Resonance FM Radio, a series of hour long live interviews with people working at the edge of contemporary practices in art, technology & social change. Currently doing an Art history Phd at the University of London, Birkbeck College.

Net artist, media artist, curator, writer, street artist, activist, educationalist and musician. Emerging in the late 80′s from the streets exploring creativity via agit-art tactics. Using unofficial, experimental platforms such as the streets, pirate radio such as the locally popular ‘Savage Yet Tender’ alternative broadcasting 1980′s group, net broadcasts, BBS systems, performance, intervention, events, pamphlets, warehouses and gallery spaces. In the early nineties, was co-sysop (systems operator) with Heath Bunting on Cybercafe BBS with

Story Hack – Notes & Notability


Story Mode/ EVENT 2: Story Hack took place at Gateshead Central Library, Tuesday 7th March 2017, 11am – 6pm

Story Hack was the second event in the Story Mode series. It will took the form of a book sprint to produce a publication inside of seven hours using the open source collaborative writing platform ‘Booktype’


What is a book sprint?

A book sprint involves everyone getting together to produce a book really fast. The following is an account of the process during Story Hack to develop a new publication, Notes and Notability. Participants included artists, curators, technologists, heritage and library professionals. 

What Happened?

We produced a book of around 40 pages in size which can be downloaded here:


Please bear in mind that it is being shared in an ‘as is’ state to show you, in all honesty what we produced on the day. It was a brilliantly engaging event, but an ‘almost’ impo. We hope that everyone who took part now has a good understanding of the potential that the book sprint method has to their practice and a good understanding of the tools that they can use.

Notes by Andrea Carter.

Welcome and introduction to the format of the day (Dominic Smith, Producer of Story Mode)

The aim of today’s book sprint is to do the impossible – to learn the process of creating a book as a group in seven hours.

We will learn how online tools like ‘Booktype’ have disrupted traditional and closed clubs, such as publishers and agents. People produce books for utilitarian reasons and can now collaborate with others across different areas, spaces and countries as collaborative, real-time editing is possible.

Today will be broken up by discussions from the event facilitators. There will be break out groups to focus upon writing, compiling, editing and book production.

>Participants and facilitators introduction themselves<

An introduction to ‘Booktype’ (Daniel James, Lead Facilitator of Story Hack)

‘Booktype’ has been in development for nine years in total. Over the past three years, ‘Booktype’ has supported Amnesty International with their flagship and annual publication: Annual Report (170 chapters written by different authors in different languages). It is a good example of collaborative publishing, collating lots of information using online tools to help people to work effectively across different countries and time zones.

So, how does ‘Booktype’ work? The software takes a single source approach (an HTML file in ‘Booktype’ is the same mark up as you would have making a web page). The HTML (a chapter object) is then pushed through HTML to PDF converters to make the book people hold in their hands, in addition to creating a screen PDF version. ‘Booktype’ can also produce other formats such as EPUB e-book for Kindle. The creators of the book can have as many incremental updates even after publication, especially if it is produced to print on demand. Each export uses date stamps.

The inclusion of multi-media content will ultimately depend on the output, but books are static (in content) meaning they can be printed.

When producing a book as part of a book sprint, it is important to consider:

  • Creative Commons licenses. These need to be observed and license terms met with the correct credits at the end of each chapter.
  • The use of content in the public domain.


Associate Facilitators

Pete Haughie is a software developer and artist with a background in technology and open source media. He is the chief developer of ‘Storyteller’, an immersive, open source storytelling platform. It was initially developed to support small news organisations to present news stories and breaking news using a variety of media and tools, in turn giving such organisation’s the ability to with larger news agencies and corporations. His role today is to help with all technical elements and offer moral support throughout the book sprint.

 Douglas Arellanes is one of founders of Sourcefabric (set up in 2001). It is a standalone global organisation supporting news organisations by giving them tools they need to do their work.  Four tool sets actively being developed by Sourcefabric in addition to ‘Storyteller’ include ‘Booktype’ (now moving into its own organisation), ‘Airtime’ (online radio), and ‘Live Blog’ for real time reporting and aggregating social media content in real time as well. Sourcefabric try to identify a problem and see which tools are appropriate, and then consider what to do next.

This often entails making something new.

Douglas offered some critical context to the day and the task ahead,

(The first step is to) understand that a book is a container for information. Containers can take lots of different forms. Tools can help to make the work as a collaborative (process). Journalists have been doing this for centuries. They have organised and self-organised around the concept of the desk (which is) a method of workflow and a tool for institutional memory. People to organise themselves around a topic.

What is important is the ability to tell a story. This is always the primary thing.

Doug Belshaw has a background as a Philosophy student, before pursuing a career as a History teacher before moving into the field of digital literacy. His portfolio as a Consultant includes the development of Open Badgers (the micro digital credentials programme) with the team at the Mozilla Foundation. He is interested in how people live and work online and their productivity using technology. He is the author of the e-book, ‘The Essential Ways of Digital Literacy’.

The book sprint begins…

Demonstration of ‘Omnibook’ (Daniel James)

‘Omnibook’  is the place for authors to write, exchange ideas, discuss and collaborate; it is a social platform for writing books. ‘Booktype’ is the content management system behind ‘Omnibook’.

Daniel demonstrated how to create an account for all participants and the main functionality in creating a book, including how to create chapters and collaboratively edit. Daniel also instructed on the development of curating and ordering content and advised on a variety of processes and possibilities to produce to best effect in the time allotted.

Further information on ‘Omnibook’ can be found here:

Defining subject matter

Step One: What are people interested in doing?

Research/ writing/ editing/ image collation/ design – participants express where their own skills/ interests/ experiences lie in the production of the publication.

Step Two: What subjects are people interested in?

For this book sprint, none of the participants had brought any existing writing or research so the proposed subject matter for the publication was developed from scratch. The following ideas were brought to the table:

  • North East heritage and history
  • Newcastle Gateshead relationship
  • John Martin (19 July 1789 – 17 February 1854) was an English Romantic painter, engraver and illustrator and his brother, William      Martin (1772–1851) was an English eccentric and self-described philosopher.

The group voted on the Martin Brothers as a theme to pursue.

Step Three: Independent research using sharing tool to support findings and real time discussion

Ether pad (online open source editing software) was used for the participants to track their initial research and trajectories inspired by the chosen subject matter.

Refining the focus of the publication (Title and chapters)

Over lunch, discussions continued around the research and collective interests of the group. The selected subject was refined based upon discussions around notability and who defines what is notable (in both historical and contemporary terms). A title was developed to reflect the direction of dialogue and interests, Notes and Notability.

Content development using Omnibook

Participants worked over the course of two hours to develop a preface and chapters inspired by ‘notability’ and regionalism as a theme. Each chapter was developed by participants independently (selecting an area of research that held most interest to them), though discussion remained fluid and content development organic throughout the process.

EVENT 2: Story Hack

A Book Sprint at Gateshead Central Library, Tuesday 7th March 2017, 11am – 6pm

FREE but booking required

To book a place on Story Hack, please contact Rachel Horton (Gateshead Arts development Team, ) via email

Story Mode is a series of events that actively explore the role that Libraries play in their communities via a critical engagement with contemporary creative digital practices and how this activity can enable Libraries to grow in capacity and profile.

It presents new ways of working by presenting experiences and approaches from local, national and international practitioners. Story Mode events will connect Libraries to current engagement practices in contemporary visual, digital and narrative arts.

What is a Story Hack?

The advent of collaborative online platforms for journalists, writers and visual artists has had a profoundly disruptive effect upon the nature of traditional media and how we access it. This situation raises more questions than it answers. Questions like: Do digital platforms have the same aura and appeal as physical media? Does the truth matter anymore? Who should we give our attention to and why?

Story Hack is the second event in the Story Mode series.  It will take the form of a book sprint to produce a publication inside of seven hours using the open source collaborative writing platform ‘Booktype’ ( A booksprint involves everyone getting together to produce a book really fast! It’s that simple. During the day we will learn to use new tools that enable rapid collaborative authorship of printed publications and ebooks.  You can prepare for the event by writing something in advance, dust off something you wrote a while back but never shared, it could be a collection of things you like that are free to share (creative commons or public domain). It can be fictional, fact based, journalistic, academic or introspective in style. It’s up to you.  

We need you!

Story Hack will be led by Sourcefabric and facilitated by Daniel James of the Booktype team. But for it to work we need people who can write, edit, fact check, research, reflect, illustrate, converse and make tea!

This event is aimed at library professionals, socially engaged arts practitioners, local community organisations and anyone with related interests.

In the lead up to the event, participants will be invited to join an online discussion group with Daniel James to focus on themes and prepare some text in advance. Join the group here:!forum/story-hack

You will need to bring  a laptop to the event and any other reference materials/ resources that might support you to develop content in the Book Sprint.

The first Story Mode event on the theme of ‘Localism’ took place in November 2016. The final Story Mode event will take place later this year.

Story Mode is produced by Dominic Smith (Artist/ Curator, UK), commissioned by the Gateshead Libraries and Culture Team, Gateshead Council as part of their Digital Makings programme. Digital Makings is supported by Arts Council England.

Story Mode/Event 2: Story Hack

Sign up to the Story Hack discussion group!forum/story-hack to keep in touch and ask questions.


10.30am: Doors open/ Registration

11am: Welcome and introduction to the format of the day

The day will be broken up by discussions from the event facilitators (see below)

There will be break out groups to focus upon writing, compiling, editing and book production

6pm Event ends

Booking information:

This event is free but booking is required. Places are also limited – please book by Wednesday 1st March to avoid disappointment.

Facilitators bios:

Douglas Arellanes 

Douglas Arellanes is a co-founder of Sourcefabric, a Czech nonprofit institute developing open source tools for newsrooms. He is an American expatriate who has lived in the Czech Republic since 1992 (though he claims Dakar has the best music anywhere in the world and Cape Town the best scenery). Previous roles have included new media consultant for the Media Development Loan Fund, special projects director at Contactel (a subsidiary of TeleDanmark), and co-founder of First Tuesday Praha, an organisation devoted to helping internet start-ups. Doug is a member of the board of the Prague Civil Society Centre, which promotes civil society in Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. He is also a DJ on Prague’s Radio.

Dr. Doug Belshaw

Dr. Doug Belshaw is an ‘Open Educational Thinkerer’ working at the intersection of education, technology, and productivity. He’s a consultant who works globally with educational organisations, non-profits, charities, and businesses – as well as being the co-founder of We Are Open, a co-operative that works to spread the culture, processes, and benefits of working openly. Doug is best known for his work on digital literacies and Open Badges, a way to issue alternative credentials. He has experience in the technology sector with Mozilla, the non-profit best known for the Firefox web browser, where he was their Web Literacy Lead. Prior to this, Doug worked in Higher Education with Jisc, and was a teacher and senior leader in English schools . His doctoral thesis focused on digital literacy, pragmatism, and the nature of ambiguity.

Pete Haughie

Pete Haughie is a technological free-radical. Free to experiment in art, hardware, and code as he sees fit to solve problems that may or may not exist in the realms of the real or digital.

Daniel James

Daniel James is the director of 64 Studio, a company which develops free software for media. Since 2010 this company has worked in partnership with Sourcefabric, a not-for-profit organisation which produces software for journalism and sponsors Booktype.

Daniel’s book ‘Crafting Digital Media’ was published by Apress. He previously helped found LinuxUser & Developer magazine and has contributed many articles to Sound on Sound and Linux Format.

Daniel lives on the Isle of Wight, although the James family came from Northumberland. Legend suggests he is related to Victorian rowing celebrity Grace Darling, along with many thousands of other people.

Dominic Smith 

Dominic Smith is an artist and curator whose practice explores open methods of project development through a hands-on, open approach to working with art & technology. He has a doctorate that examines the relationship between open source software production methods and methods employed by artists and curators. His current research and practice focuses on the collaborative nature of digital platforms and the social impact of new technologies. He works as an independent/associate curator with a number of arts organisations and is currently involved in a range of projects across the UK and Europe.

Further information about Digital Makings:

Digital Makings is a year-long programme of participatory Digital Arts activities encompassing a broad range of specialisms for people to discover and explore. The programme in Gateshead Libraries, began in July 2106 and will continue through to September 2017 and in addition to Story Mode events will include –

  • Three Digital Makings Residencies at Gateshead Central Library and other branch libraries with artists Ben Freeth, Karen Underhill and Sheryl Jenkins.
  • Participatory workshops linked to the Thinking Digital Arts Programme with Shelly Knotts and Suzy O’Hara.
  • A For edge painting project and digital collation with Artist Anton Hecht. This will tour libraries in Gateshead, collated digitally and shared through digital and social media channels.
  • Working with Artists from We EngAGE to lead iPad workshops for community groups which are designed to raise confidence and usage for older people and communities.
  • Adding a digital arts ‘zone’ to E-Day a popular event with workshops and drop in opportunities on Saturday 1 October at Gateshead Central Library.
  • Supporting workshops and events led by other digital based artists/practitioners in libraries across the borough.
  • Summer/Easter holiday Culture Camps with a programme of workshops and cultural activities for young people aged 8 – 14.
  • Final Exhibition showcasing the results of Digital Makings project in The Gallery at Gateshead Central Library.

Digital Makings is supported through Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts Libraries fund which has been established to support public library-led projects that stimulate partnerships between libraries and artists and arts organisations, encouraging communities to participate actively in artistic and cultural activities. The Libraries fund is part of the Arts Council’s Grants for the arts funding programme.

EVENT 1: Localism

Group shot of Localism event

The first Story Mode event, ‘Localism’ took place at Gateshead Central Library on Wednesday 16 November 2016. Speakers, Jason Griffey (Technologist, US), and Aude Charillon (Librarian, UK) explored the theme by bringing their own perspectives, practice and thoughts on how libraries can understand their communities and promote local history, culture and identity, and investigate the role technology plays in local engagement.

Localism: Key ideas from the first Story Mode event


Karolynne Hart, Arts Development Manager, Gateshead Libraries and Culture team (Gateshead Council):

Digital Makings is a year-long programme led by Gateshead Libraries consisting of residences, events, talks, and participatory workshops. It aims to promote digital arts and libraries. It attempts to find new connections and methods of engagement between local communities and libraries in the context of challenging times.

Stephen Walters, Principal Libraries Manager, Gateshead Libraries and Culture team (Gateshead Council):

Libraries are under pressure. Gateshead Council conducted a public consultation, which focussed on trying to understand what the loss and impact of a local library might mean to local people. People strongly value local libraries as a place to meet others, to engage and talk, make friends, reduce social isolation, etc. People don’t want to see technological outreach as a f reason not to go to libraries but they are interested in sharing experiences at libraries through technology.

Dominic Smith, Artist and Curator, Producer of Story Mode:

Engagement with the arts always present a challenge. In galleries, there is an invisible threshold at work (Reference to German term: schwellenangst meaning fear of crossing thresholds). The barriers to engagement are numerous and include the lack of engagement with community concerns, that we are not taught about visual literacy in schools – so anxiety will pervade engaging in such a context if you don’t know it. Libraries are different. They do not have the same thresholds as galleries.

Localism is a response to the changing political climates, examining technical innovations and critical approaches  to the identity and safe exchange of ideas. What artists do is gauge a sense of the climate and engaging communities with difficult themes and areas. Artists are good at creating other spaces.

Reference to Hetrotopia (Michel Foucault):

Foucault uses the term “heterotopia” (French: hétérotopie) to describe spaces that have more layers of meaning or relationships to other places than immediately meet the eye. 

Libraries can do this in a positive way.

Introduction to speakers:

Kerry Morrison is an artist and part of a collective InSitu, who use technology to foster communities. Their work is based in libraries.  (Kerry was unable to attend today).

Jason Griffey is the creator of Library Box.

Aude Charillion is Library and Information Officer: Business & IP Centre Newcastle, based at Newcastle City Library.

Aude Charillion Talking

Presentation by Aude CharillionCommons are Forever, a project supported by the Carnegie UK Trust

Librarians have a role to play and a strong place in the community. They share knowledge, information and culture.

Main role in Business and IT Centre at Newcastle City Library is to talk to people about Intellectual Property, copyright and public domain intellectual property rights. The aim of the Commons are Forever was to flip copyright issues on its head and not deter people.

By definition:

Works in the public domain are those whose exclusive intellectual property rights have expired,[1] have been forfeited,  or are inapplicable.

A free online tool producing accessible copyright licenses which provide a simple, standardized way to give you permission to share and use your creative work— on conditions of your choice.

Commons are Forever was a series of events where people were given the opportunity to come together and think. Workshops were offered where people could be creative with the use of collections in the public domain and material under open licences. The workshops explored how such material could be shared creatively, led by local artists working in digital media. They included ideas linked to ‘Coding the Past, Coding the Future’, archive cut and paste, the production of gifs (inspired by annual gif-making competition, Gif It Up!) and Live Coding with sound and music.

Newcastle Library has also launched  the photography competition, We love Monuments! inspired by Wiki Love Monuments .The aim is to send people out in local community to take pictures of listed buildings within the geographical boundaries  of Newcastle City Council. It inspires individuals to find out more about their local environment.

Library Box was also used throughout the project as an open network –  ToonLibraryBox. It  is available to use at Newcastle City Library to access documentation from the Commons are Forever project and Newcastle Library data. Often it is easier to come to the library to view this information than attempt to find it remotely. Library Box gives a centralised presence but it is not currently being used to its full potential.

Jason Griffey Talking at Localism Event

Presentation by Jason GriffeyLibrary Box

A short history of Library Box. The project started in 2012 with an interest in how libraries could more easily take digital goods out into the world in areas where there was no connectivity or technological infrastructure. In many parts of the US this is still an issue, especially in rural areas.

The solution was inspired by a project called Pirate Box, by Professor David Darts. It was an art project designed to be an anti-copyright/ activist statement. It was built as a portable file sharing box with no intermediary using open code. Jason took it and tinkered with it to make a friendlier version for libraries and educators.

In mid 2012, the code was able to run on small routers (eg: MI 2030), a mobile and inexpensive option that could convert into local web servers. In 2013, a successful Kickstart campaign raised 30,000USD to pay developers to complete Library Box and make widely available. The keystone of the project is that the code and installation instructions are freely available. The box runs on USB power.

Library Box is not connected to internet; therefore, it is an island. Locality is a feature not a bug. When you build an interesting tool, people find interesting uses for it – libraries use it to exhibit things within the confines of one room, educators use it behind firewalls, NFP organisations have used it in remote villages in Africa to share measures and videos and PDFs related to nursing techniques. etc., artists use it as part of point of place installations.

Library Box has been used in 42 countries and across the seven continents.

Current developments include: a mobile app for Library Box to allow geographical alerts when boxes are being used in near proximity, creating more interactivity; Crowd sourcing to add more languages so user can look at material on Library Box in the language which their browser is set.


Library Box requires an administrator to upload material – why?

JG: The thinking was to make it more administrative and control sharing. To mimic or act more like a library it should be a curated collection and an important part of informational transactions. This can be difficult to control in a public situation where anyone can upload and potentially use system illegally. Library Box is also a terminology that is sanitised and feels safe.  Words matter. Tools are not neutral – you should consider ethics and realities behind it. You should think about ethical system of that tool. The fact Library Box reflects library values is a deliberate strategy.

How can group of people access information from Library Box – how do you get non-users excited?

JG: Library Box is a tool built on standards and can work with any Wi-Fi and browser enabled device. The interface shows what is available for download (new version 2.1) and you can keep track of what people click, how many people visited it in a day and which books/ materials are most popular. Statistics are not kept about people, maintaining patron privacy.

Downsides to hardware is that it is slow and not very powerful. It is also not great for searching, which is the limitation of using cheap hardware where functionality is limited to browse and download. It can hold thousands of books so thought needs to be put into how to present information for people to access easily.

The challenge from a librarian’s perspective is to think creatively about the use of Library Box.

JG: Continually surprised by the uses of Library Box and more work needs to be done to capture this.  

AC: In France, Bibliobox is a proactive Facebook group of librarians using technology and providing network. Important that users create user groups locally.

DS: It is important to introduce artists into that moment and plan what could happen.

AC: The need for statistics are also important. Are people using Library Box more? Can statistics be archived?

JG: Can offer some help but it is important to maintain stance where there is no impingement on someone’s freedom, of inquiry.

Post-event discussion:

Why Story Mode?

The title is inspired by the narrative led part of computer game, where the art lies. It attempts to bootstrap a process, where a tiny programme grows into a bigger one and this grows until you have a complete operating system.

Story Mode is a responsive event. The next event will focus on Source Fabrics online tool, Storyteller.

Further questions:

Have you built communities around Library Box since it has been at Newcastle City Library?

AC: It has only been promoted at events that have ran as part of Commons are Forever. It is not promoted widely. Connection in library may be accidental to date.

Can we connect with libraries and art venues locally as a Library Box network?

The idea of Adopt a Library Box could involve community champions. It can have a core use in facilitating how to get material to hard to reach communities. It can offer a way to access media and files that cost nothing.

The key is to stay connected to Jason to be part of how things are developed, through participating in forums.

There is a challenge connected to technology and the (often long periods of) time it takes for things to get to tipping point. Often the process of using technology is not enjoyable for many people and knowledge of use often only lies only with the few. How does it serve a purpose/ how is it useful/ can it fulfil a need?

New media is seen as some as an outdated term. But we are always using newest of new media, therefore the term is not necessarily a faux pas. We all use technology before fully understanding social impact.

You can deliberately make it playful (e.g.: play games with language and text). The result doesn’t matter. It is about capturing the ‘what if’s’

The model of the mobile library is important. Library Box could be a way people to accessing events, etc. they are not physically able to attend. It allows people to be part of a community and cultural hub, within their own locality and in their own time.

Ideas captured on how to use Library Box:

  • Consultation – break process of reflection and feedback, share ideas and thinking with your neighbours
  • Adopt a Box – time capsule idea documenting the transition from Year 6 to secondary schools/ recording data to take/reflect back on, making things accessible through local ownership of material
  • Gateshead Libraries on tour – on buses, at the Interchange, connecting with people that don’t use libraries to make connections to the service
  • Community arts development projects– capturing stories from a street through new means, breaking conventions of more known outcomes (books, exhibitions, etc)
  • How can you help people that are unable to access communal space – archive brought to group for two or three people to stimulate writing/ poetry through spoken word/ captures people’s reactions to further advance stimulus and add to that/ how do you generate reflection and story within context of social isolation?
  • Newcastle/ Gateshead connections – create a community around it
  • International community day at Civic Centre – gifting things for people to take away and promote
  • Help people use technology better- Make virtual libraries (where there aren’t libraries and no libraries anymore)
  • Enhance exhibition space – more information to access exhibitions
  • Not want to presuppose what community want – project with wider community group to find out how it can be used
  • Outreach – trying to reach people that are housebound or in care homes, can’t take objects out, connecting to collections and locality
  • Great North Exhibition trail – chat room built into Library Box, good where you trust your audience, becomes community led

This Story Mode event was attended by twelve people ranging in professional experiences and practices across libraries, open source technology, the arts and cultural services.

Thank you to Andrea Carter for compiling this documentation of the first event!