100 Libraries. 99 Books.

Examining a powerful means of human exchange · 2016

100 Libraries, 99 Books: An installation by John Shipman, 2016The library that stands out the most for me was a nameless wall of books in my junior high school in Endiang, Alberta. It doesn't exist anymore and the kids from our area of Alberta have to bus to the larger centres for school, over an hour ride, one-way for some of them. It was the maroon cover that did it for me. The memorable book was The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. · GS

Simple and brilliant!

Hundreds visited the 100 libraries and opened 99 books during Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016. Each library — a desk structure, reading light, chained book covered with brown paper and an illuminated sign built into a heritage church's pews — was a public or private library or bookstore in Canada, North America or elsewhere.

Ten offered children's books such as Cowboys and Cattle Trails (Palmerton Public Library) and The Little Mermaid, the Story of Ariel (Palmerston Branch of the Toronto Public Library) on a carpeted platform. Visitors added their books to the Department of Household Science & Advanced Proverbs Library's catalog complete with barcode, book card, pocket, date due slip and library stamp — then borrowed them forever. Others created eight-page books and practiced calligraphy.

Read comments from 89 visitors here.
Read stories about special books and memorable libraries here.
The libraries and books as a web page list is here.
Download the list of libraries and books as a pdf here.
Take a quick look at the installation here.

A sampling of libraries and books:

2 · Biblioteca Nacional Buenos Aires, Argentina • Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
3 · Hippo School Parent Library, Toronto • A Patchwork of Memories
10 · Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt • If Not Winter by Anne Carson
12 · Jamestown Philomenian Library, Rhode Island • An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by PD James
16 · Springvale High School Library, Melbourne, Australia • Basic Wiring
30 · Toronto Public Library, Forest Hill Branch • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
32 · Ottawa Public Library, Elmvale Acres Branch • The Castle by Franz Kafka
42 · Chicago Main Reference Library • At Work in the Fields of the Bomb by Robert Del Tredici
49 · Yoknapatawpha County Library, Mississippi • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
54 · Copper Queen Library, Bisbee, Arizona • Tombstone Courage by JA Jance
66 · Odense Hovedbibliotek, Denmark • Logn Over Logn by Henrik Stangerup
69 · Cranbrook Library, England • Vita Sackville-West's Garden Book
75 · Bethlehem Public Library, Pennsylvania • Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
85 · Regina Bookmobile, Saskatchewan • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
86 · Little Library at 123 Tyrell, Toronto • G.B.S. A Full Length Portrait by Hesketh Pearson
99 · Library Zlin, Czech Republic · Impressions of Africa by Raymond Rousell

Me encanto. Estaban la raja las lucesitas. Sigan asi!

John Shipman presented 100 Libraries. 99 Books. — his 11th Independent Nuit Blanche Project at St. Matthew's United Church, a listed heritage church and a propitious location given the use of modified church plans in the design of the medieval chain libraries — on 1–2 October 2016.

Of the 400+ visitors:

98 left comments.

60 (approximately) made eight-page mini Pocket Books with author and title cards, date due slips, library stamps, book pockets and barcodes.

36 nominated additional memorable libraries and special books during this participatory installation including Osaka City Library, Japan; Nepean Public Library and Dionne Brand, Land to Light On; Toronto Public Library, Wychwood Branch and Louis Riel; Luís de Camões, Os Lusiades; Finch Public School, Toronto and When I Was Little and You Were Big; Toronto Public Library, St. Lawrence Branch and Nadia Hashimi, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell; personal library and The Great Blueness and other Predicaments.

13 entered books into the Department of Household Sciences Library including Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Pour Un Nouveau Roman by Alain Robbe-Grillet, Louis Riel by Chester Brown, Johnny Come Home by Jake Arnott, and The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad, while

One create a three-page crocheted book.

The sounds of the chains! Readers in contemplation! What an atmosphere.

With thanks to everyone who nominated books and libraries, to St. Matthew's Church, and to event volunteers: Veronica Clarke-Hanik, Tony Hanik, Emilie Shipman-Wight, Clara Shipman, Victoria Shipman, Jenna Teece-Soter, William Teece-Soter, Sonya Teece, Kay Brethour and Marcelle St-Amant.

For more info about 100 Libraries, 99 Books, please contact John.

Photos · Marcelle St-Amant