L.A. in Focus: Shades of L.A. Revisited
Kathy Kobayashi, co-architect of Shades of L.A. takes a look back at the landmark project, which was launched in 1991 and resulted in a compelling archive of 10,000 photos of diverse Southern California families, copied by Photo Friends from family albums for the LAPL Photo Collection.
"Libraries aren’t in the real world, after all. They’re places apart, sanctuaries of pure thought."
Paul Auster (via picadorbookroom)
I wonder if Paul Auster has been to one recently, though.
Libraries have actually become, in the US at least, de facto homeless shelters and centers for the mentally ill, as well as a resource for those needing childcare as well as the unemployed seeking work. There’s now signs on some of them in New York barring people from bringing ‘large packages’ which basically means ‘homeless people cannot bring their life’s belongings in here’—but they allowed it for almost a decade as homelessness in New York reached epic proportions. It’s more to the point to say there’s very few places in American life so of this world, more than a library. Most public libraries are where you can see what is really going on for most Americans in a way you won’t ever see on the news, or in a television show, or even in most fiction or nonfiction. And it is to the credit of most librarians that they continue to operate, despite budget cuts and the outlandish depravity of austerians and privitization mongrels selling their locations off (ahem, NYC). Let’s not treat libraries like delicate flowers or temples withdrawn from the concerns of the world. They’ve shown themselves to be much tougher than that. Let’s instead make them what they should be, a better thing than what they’ve had to become—and look to what has been laid at their feet as a map to what our country really needs from its government services.
Thanks to all who sent me stuff for inclusion in the zine. If you sent me something, and I didn’t respond to your email, I apologize. I’m terrible with email. But I got it.
I am including literally every single thing everyone has sent me, and there is still time to send me some more, or send me stuff you sat on and didn’t send yet!
The goal is still to launch at ALA Annual in Chicago (end of June). I wanted to have a prerelease party at the NJLA conference in early June but I gave up that dream because I’ll never get it done in time.
Another goal is also to distribute the zine in all major ebook formats on librariesmakeshithappen.com. That’s a domain I’ve owned for two years and never used.
Thanks to all that contributed. Y’all make it happen. The attached photo here is the centerfold drawn by @sketchlibrarian; she also sketched a really great picture of Juicy J for inclusion as well, which I’m going to put in next to his quote:
“I was living in the hood, but I went to the library and I checked out music books. I just read that shit because I wanted to be in the music business. But I felt like, if I’m going to be in the music business, I got to know about the business. I knew I had talent; I was talented as fuck. I could DJ, I could make music, I could produce beats, I could rap. But I needed to know the business part. So I went to the library, checked out a bunch of books. Well I had my mom check me out books; I was young. I was 13. I had her check me out a bunch of books from the library and I just read almost like six or seven books. Then I would check the books back in, and I would check them back out for another two weeks just to read the same thing over and over again so I could understand it.”
(Source: makeithappenday, via zinepavilion)
Ahoy zinester-librarians/librarian-zinesters! If we set aside a time during Annual for a massive zine trade, would y’all bring a stack of your zines to swap?
This would be so dreamy!!
Zines: DIY publishing to the people
The library invited guests to create their own zines at the event, providing various tools such as scissors, paper, rubber stamps, and old magazines. The scene resembled a scrap-booking circle of people writing, drawing, snipping, disassembling, and reassembling their own ideas. This was the zine-making process.
"the archive is a political and cultural meaning making machine for the passage of objects into what Michel Foucault calls knowledge’s field of control and power’s sphere of intervention"