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Bringing the underground into the library and into our lives

February 24, 2010

Demoteket er dit undergrundsbibliotek. I februar 2010 sniger undergrunden sig ind på fem af Københavns biblioteker. Hvert bibliotek vil få en ny reol med alt fra krøllede soveværelses-produktioner til indieselskabers avantgarde-udgivelser. Fra dubplates til zines, fra kunstfilm til digtsamlinger, fra streetart-bøger til stencils. Og bedst af alt: du kan få lov til at låne det med hjem ligesom med alle andre biblioteksmaterialer.

translation::::: Demoteket (the demo-brary) is your underground library. In February, 2010 the underground is sneaking into five of Copenhagen’s libraries. Each library will get a new display housing everything from homemade bedroom-productions to indie-produced avantgarde works. From dub records to zines, art films to poetry collections, books of street art to stencils. And best of all – you can check it all out and take it home with you, just like all the other library materials.

How great an idea is this?! Lucky me, one of those five libraries happens to be my very own neighborhood library. Hurrah!

We went to Demoteket’s (that name works better in Danish) sneak-opening last November – a concert and beer and coziness. If that event is any indication of what’s to come from the Demoteket people, it’s very promising. Here’s what it looked like (courtesy of dr.hanz, via flickr):

party in the library!

how the underground wires up

While this kind of thing may be dime a dozen in other places (like the States?), and while it is yet to be seen just how underground these documents/materials will actually turn out to be, the concept new and fresh in Denmark. Zines especially don’t seem to enjoy the same popularity here as in the states, and I love the potential of checking out a stencil to be reproduced at will (hmmm…keeping these kinds items in good condition may turn out be an issue). I’m really glad to see libraries innovating and experimenting and taking chances. Re-imagining the library requires creative thinking. In Oslo, Norway you can now check out ukulelees from the library. I love that.

Do you know of any special initiatives taken by libraries in your area? Were they successful, in your opinion? Do they make the library a more attractive place to be/use?

So, if you happen to be in Copenhagen this Saturday (Feb 27th), they’re having an opening party at Bolsjefabrikken (that means ‘the candy factory’, so named for their former digs). Starts at 5pm, with djs, popcorn, slushies and cheap drink. Free in the early evening, 40kr later at night. Should be a good time.

Here’s their promo video, though personally – I don’t know – I feel like they could have made it a bit more relevant to their raison d’être. But it’s fun anyhow.

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