Garfield Park Public Library

Dustin O'Hara / Garfield Park Public Library

The Garfield Park Public Library dates back to 1914. It is one of the first libraries established in the Santa Cruz area. This video is documentation of a video installation that was made for and about the library.

The installation was made by spending a week in the library documenting people there, reading and studying. The footage was then rear-screen projected in a continuous loop, on the front lawn of the library.

Due to a shrinking budget, the library’s hours of operation are increasingly limited. The production of the installation has led myself and others (including the librarians and library staff) into a discussion about the nuances of this particular library system. Such a discussion reflects a more general effort to rethink the library, from simply a place of books, to understanding it as part of the commons, as a critical civic institution, and as an open free space of access in the negotiation of knowledge.

There are likely to be future collaborative possibilities for those interested in local histories of the Santa Cruz area.

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