Bookless: Reporting Back

29 Jan

This one’s for my auntie, as promised. I only made it to the late-night portion, so I can’t report on the family activities, but by all accounts, they blew minds.


Bookless Exhibition and public event at the Madison Public Library Central Branch. Photo booth was a collaboration between Christina Endres, Laura Damon-Moore and Erinn Batykefer of the Library as Incubator Project and Jim Escalante.

Bookless. Madison Public Library’s central branch is currently under demolition for its $30 million renovation, and as part of the fundraising campaign, they had a big shindig in the empty building last night. My former boss is the development director for the library foundation, and she roped a few of my former colleagues into helping out, and they, in turn, peer pressured me to come out past my bedtime. Added to that were the approximately 80,000 SLISers who were there to volunteer or see the sights, and I couldn’t not go.

It was crazy. In an amazing how did they do this, this art is interesting/incredible/weird, I feel like I’m in an alternate universe sort of way. The dancing in the stacks was…and the series of art installations on the second floor! As you can see, I’m still processing. I think my favorite things were twofold: 1) The twitter stream computer by the bar with a tweet that read something to the effect of: “Largest concentration of people with master’s degrees in the US at #Bookless” (If you throw in the almosts like me, for sure), and 2) The Oracle. I didn’t even test the Oracle, but I just loved the concept so much it made my night. There was a set of pneumatic tubes with folks in the basement answering askers’ questions.

Other items of note: There was a line winding out the block and apparently a projected attendance of a few hundred ended up in the couple thousands. 100 local artists brought their A game and created installations in most of the spaces. What used to be the administrative section became a crazy maze of art. The downstairs stacks – empty, down to the metal bars – made for a warehouse/maze club complete with a bar. A wooden dinosaur looked on. Some of the SLISers were responsible for the incredibly popular photobooth, pictures from which are featured over at the library’s flickr stream. You’ll see both my bosses, and more SLISers than I can count. Including those two kids up there.*

More thoughts and personal photos found in the #Bookless twitter stream

Major, major props to all the artists, musicians, volunteers, and planners who pulled it off.

*He’s actually not a SLISer, but he sometimes visits the library, so I count him.


2 Responses to “Bookless: Reporting Back”

  1. Dee Ann February 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Thanks for the report, Cate! It sounds like as cool an event as could be imagined!


  1. Monday Eye Candy: Bookless Cont’d « Navigating the Stacks - January 30, 2012

    […] I’m sure you all read my last post with rapt attention, these art works need no introduction. The full list of participating artists […]

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