Why Update the Existing Library at The University of Baghdad?
If you've been curious about the inspiration and vision for the library space, this week's updates are for you! Today we'll go deeper into why we believe the library is just as important as the books, and Friday we'll be talking to our volunteer architect Wei Cai.
Why Update the Existing Library?
For many of us, our local library is an exciting place....one overflowing with potentials and possibilities just waiting to be worked into life. This is especially true for artists. Libraries often hold just what we need to take the next step in the creative process. Something we understand today is that libraries need more than books to have the greatest impact in their communities. That means replacing stuffy old rooms of the past with bright, engaging community spaces that reflect how we live and work today, and what we understand about space and well-being.
Render by Wei Cai.
When the art students at the University of Baghdad start using their new books, we want it to be in a contemporary library that is an oasis from the outside world, a place that makes their educational needs, comfort, and well-being top priorities.
Volunteers shelving books at the Esker Foundation.
At this time, hundreds of people have donated more than 1600 books to 168:01. With a number of exhibitions planned for 2017, 2018, and beyond, the collection will continue to grow and evolve in the coming years.
We will be providing the new titles, along with a computer our volunteer librarian Judith setup using the Koha system to replace the old catalog system. (See our last update for an interview with Judith about her work on 168:01.) While the books and a cataloging system will make using the library a solid learning resource, the remodel will make it the engaging, inspiring, and functional space for the students to realize their full potentials.
Render by Wei Cai.
Wafaa’s plans are to create a space that maintains the natural light through an existing wall of windows, to remove the drop ceilings to make the space feel larger, and add new lighting fixtures in the reading zones. There is a space in the corner for a lounge area where students can sit, relax, and read. The design is streamlined, clean and bright while maximizing shelving and seating. The materials used in the render and design concept are all easily accessible in Iraq. It was kept simple for ease of build and to allow the students to be involved in the remodel.
It’s our goal to create a comfort zone at the University of Baghdad that students and faculty can use to launch the next great art movement from Iraq. We want to nurture the young talent that will someday wow us, inspire us, make us think, and help find new places to stand in an ever-shifting world.