Saturday, March 15, 2008

Many uses for a Library

This is a picture of the gorgeous Vancouver Public Library. I wandered through it when on holiday in Vancouver a few years ago (what can I say, I don't know a single librarian who does not tour other libraries on holiday). The building itself is beautiful, and I was so envious of a public library with so much public space - and the fact that there are subject specialists working on each floor - it's like a university library, almost. I'd LOVE to work there, although living half a continent away sort of makes that difficult. But, it's interesting that there are many different ways people see such a building. Here's one:

Julia Taffe just can't stop hanging around the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library. There's something about Moshe Safdie's colonnades and curving architectural walls that makes her want to create aerial dance. As a dancer and choreographer for her company Aeriosa Dance, Taffe has created four other dances for the inside and outside walls of one of the city's most distinctive buildings.

Taffe likes that the building has become a community gathering place."The building has personally inspired me to create dance in Vancouver," Taffe said. "Without it, my art form would not have developed in the same way."

Read the whole article in the Vancouver press, if you'd like. And do go to the dance company's site to watch some videos of their performances. It's gorgeous!


  1. I confess that I have in fact been known to check out various libraries when ostensibly off the clock. Last fall I visited both the Library of Congress (nearly a shrine in my personal belief system) and the Morgan Library in New York City (a boutique library if ever there was one).

  2. Jill - my husband and I got to visit NY for 3 days in 2006 and we of course went straight for the NY Public. If we'd had more time we'd have gone to the Morgan as well. I'd love to see the Library of Congress!
    Here in Canada the Parliamentary Library is a sight to see; it was the only part of the original Parliament buildings to be saved from a fire when a forward thinking librarian with a disaster plan rushed into the fire to close the doors. Lovely stuff.

  3. I really love this building too. Modern but inspired by a classic.


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