The impulse to archive has been framed and understood in the literature as a modern desire to control fleeting reality. Libraries as such respond to this desire by collecting, storing and circulating resources (books and other kinds of media). But more recently there has been an emphasis on the public character of library spaces in which people gather not only to obtain information and read by themselves but also to experience the very urban quality of proximity to others in more informal and less structured environments as public space. Community events characterize the programming of all the libraries included in the book. The design of these new libraries fit into urban development initiatives where libraries – like other iconic cultural spaces of cities – become central components to market cities for the consumption of culture. Simultaneously, public libraries in cities are an important component of democracy, sustaining democratic values of inclusivity and universal access. Focusing on the Seattle, Salt Lake City, New York Public Libraries as well as Medellín, Colombia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Alexandria, Egypt. This book examines the role, history and function of public libraries in contemporary societies that drive creative city branding urban development.
Julia Nevárez (2021)