Posted by: bluesyemre | August 28, 2018

There’s Something Wrong with the Library’s Image: A Pictorial Guide by Oleg Kagan


It’s not all books and shelves at the Library!

Don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with books, or libraries having books — I love books. What I don’t love is that these images of books and bookshelves represent the limited way in which the media thinks about libraries even when they specifically say otherwise. For example, check out this 2014 article from Smithsonian Magazine, entitled “Libraries Are Great at Lending All Sorts of Things — Not Just Books” and this 2017 In the Bay piece called “Public Libraries: More Than Just a Book Lending Service.” Both of these delightful articles about how libraries are more than books lead with images of, yes, you guessed it, bookshelves! It makes no sense, but it happens all the time!

So what type of photos should media outlets use to represent libraries? Well, to start how about some more active images — pictures of people doing something. Nobody comes to the library and turns into a bookshelf, library patrons do things — sometimes important things — at their local library!

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