Library Words, 2018

Powder-coated mild steel letters
Front room: 600 wide x 40.4 cm high
Rear room: 1200 wide x 37.5 cm high
Commission by Dublin City Council 2016-2018 for Kevin Street Library

The wall texts in the front and rear rooms were installed after the renovations of the building in 2018. The texts are quotes about libraries gathered by the artist and through contact with library staff. The artwork picks up on the colours of inks used in book printing – CMYK – cyan, magenta, yellow, and black for the front room and on the colours used for digital screens – RGB – red, green, and blue.

“When in doubt go to the library”
JK Rowling

“Paradise will be a kind of library”
Jorge Luis Borges

“My archive is a library of longings”
Susan Sontag

“A library is a hospital for the mind”
(Alan Phelan’s choices)

“A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas a place where history comes to life” President Michael D Higgins
(Jackie Lynam, Librarian, UNESCO City of Literature Office)

“The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech controversy and community” Paula Poundstone
(Angela Cassidy, Divisional Librarian, City Library Project)

“I consider the public library to be along with language and chocolate one of humankinds greatest inventions” John Banville
(via email to Cathy Mc Kenna, senior librarian, The International Dublin Literary Award)

This artwork was commissioned by Dublin City Council under the Per Cent for Art Scheme with funding from the Government of Ireland.

Installation photography Ros Kavanagh