Why Use the Public Library is a public engagement project that is part of the PhD work of Rachel Salzano. The aim of this project is to engage the public with research on the relationship between culture and public library use. This will be done through the creation of an art exhibition, showcasing the perspectives of refugees and asylum seekers in Edinburgh.
Participants will provide photographs or other visual art as artefacts representing why they use the public library. These artefacts will be paired with the stories behind them to become an online (an eventually in-person) exhibition. The exhibition will be co-created by participants and the final exhibition will be available for the broader community to view. The Edinburgh community will be able to engage with the artwork through comments sections of the online exhibition (moderated by the researcher) on the hosting website and vote for favourite pieces of artwork (example category: Favourite Colour Scheme). Prizes will be awarded to participants based on these public votes. The community will also be able to view the art in an in-person exhibit when current regulations allow.
The goal for this project is to help bring communities in Edinburgh together and spark conversation between community members and public library providers. Stay tuned to this page for more blog posts about the project and keep an eye on the 'Project Updates' for information about recruitment and examples of art created for the project.
Rachel Salzano is a PhD student at Edinburgh Napier University. In her spare time she enjoys crocheting, drawing, reading, and collecting public library memberships. She hopes that her research will help bring together public library providers and their communities to enhance public library service provision.