The Bookcase Micro-Museum and Library.


Browsing by colours.

For the past week or so between classes and my bed, I’ve either been dozing in the GRC or dozing some more on a London Transit. I needed some fresh air! So off I went to the September 10 grand opening of The Bookcase micro-museum and library founded and run by Dr. Kirsty Robertson.

Located at room 221 of the Visual Arts Building at Western University, The Bookcase is a “pop-up lending library and cabinet of curiosities” featuring bimonthly exhibitions of collector’s item from far and wide. The inaugural exhibition Plastiglomerate features Kelly Jazvac and Patricia Corcoran‘s collection of plastic-waste-fused oceanic lava rock from Hawaii. Whether you dig those gemstones or not, the message of human impact on the environment is loud and clear. For an intro to plastiglomerates, check out these interviews from the Faculty of Science.

As fascinating as the exhibition was, however, my eyes were quickly distracted by what else was surrounding me: books (of course). An impressive palette of colours lining the walls of the office, it almost felt like finding my pot of gold at the end of a rainbow whoa! But wait. Would Prof. Campbell (LIS 9002) approve this organization scheme? “How would you find anything?”, Dr. Rothbauer (LIS 9003) might ask…

Found my pot of gold!

Found my pot of gold!

According to Dr. Robertson, the reason for sorting the books by colours rather than by subjects is to encourage browsing and discovery through serendipity. She said that a digital catalogue could sometimes be too rigid. Dr. Robertson’s research interests include museum studies and global justice activism. Western’s John Labatt Visual Arts Centre is tucked away at one end of the campus and the micro-museum and library is her way to bring people to check out the Visual Arts Department. If nothing else, it surely made me visit the VAC for the first time.

The Bookcase is open Wednesdays, 12-4 until May 2015. Just a parking lot away from the NCB, I’ll for sure be going there again.

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