What makes a library?

As previously mentioned, I feel that the use of headphones increases confidence in an audience member, and Blast Theory’s previous work seems to back up this theory. I am therefore considering using this combination of elevated confidence and suggestibility to create a piece of work that will push the audience to perform

I have settled firmly upon the idea of using an audio tour to produce a piece that guides my audience around the library. Using this, I hope to be able to encourage them to perform certain tasks that will aid them in understanding the concepts behind my piece.

As I am aiming to portray the lack of uniqueness and personality in the library, I am almost hoping to show the library as an entity. To do this I will pick apart the qualities that I think are most important to a library, and exploit them throughout the performance. The ideas I have chosen for this are;


One of the most important aspects to consider when entering a library is to be quiet, as studies have found that a lack of noise can increase concentration. Many libraries ask visitors to remain silent or keep noise levels to a minimum out of courtesy to other visitors, although the University Library has only one floor where a complete silence rule in enforced. ‘Out of courtesy’ to other students, I will not be taking my performance onto the third floor of the library (mainly because I don’t want the performance to be stopped halfway through by an angry librarian) and will concentrate on the bottom two floors instead.


Without wanting to state the obvious, libraries are a place of learning. Many public libraries are used a place for reading books/newspapers etc, but the University Library is used mainly by students for research and written work. One idea I have had to exploit this aspect is to create ‘fictional facts’ or lies and portray them to the users around the performance. The students reading them may or may not believe them, and so will be learning, but not in a conventional manner.

Personal space

This is the area that ties in most with my original concept for the performance. When in the library, you are expected to respect the boundaries of touch and pay attention to personal space. Touching someone on the arm, for example, would be seen completely normal in any other public space, yet in the library would be seen as absurd.

Through exploring these options, My aim is to make people notice their surroundings and begin to realise that things do happen, and people do exist, when in the library.

Posted: May 13th, 2013
Categories: Identity - Becca Baines, Library, Uncategorized
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