Our public libraries have been under the spotlight somewhat in recent months. Although there are many very busy and thriving libraries, there are plenty that are, unfortunately, struggling to get people in through the door and get people reading.
So, is a shake-up of the service needed? Well, Mick Jones of The Clash has come up with his own idea for a unique addition to the library service: a rock’n’roll library. The ‘Guerrillia Rock’n’Roll Public Library’ includes over 10,000 items from Jones’ personal collection and has opened to the public today. Situated off the Portabello Road, the library will “inspire and educate music lovers from around the world”, Jones hopes.
There will be music – a personal soundtrack for the library has been created by Jones, including songs from Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones – and interactive features such as videos and computer technology to help recreate old black and white fanzines.
Things need to be looked at differently if we’re going to inspire people to use our libraries more widely and frequently, and Mick Jones’ project, with its fun, interactive element, is a must-see for Clash fans and food for thought for our public libraries.
Rock’n’Roll Public Library, 18 July – 25 August, 2 Acklam Road, Portobello Green, W10 5XL. 11-7 Wednesday-Sunday. Admission is free.