USC to install many microlibraries across campus

USC students will have the opportunity on Friday to participate in shaping the appearance of miniature libraries that will soon be placed throughout campus. The first part of the event, “Microlibraries in the Everywhere,” will be held at Doheny Memorial Library, room 240 on the University Park Campus.

This innovative walking tour will give a preview into the future of microlibraries that will be dispersed throughout USC’s campus. In promotion of reading for pleasure and gaining information, the microlibraries will also contribute to “moral and ethical dimensions of free access to knowledge.” The exhibit will feature 10 unique and individualized microlibraries created in collaboration with a  USC professor of architecture, Lee Olvera, as well as students in the USC Master of Management in Library and Information Science program and the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study.

Co-creator Professor Olvera’s professional practice currently focuses on the design of arts-related residential projects and his current teaching centers on the topics “of craft and making as an exploration of the return to the value placed on methods of making, the how and why of designed objects, spaces and buildings.” As the associate professor of practice in architecture, Olvera teaches a thesis level design studio class, critical theory and research seminars as well as a class on color theory. Olvera is the assistant dean of communications and special projects, and faculty coordinator for the Graduate Research Scholars Program at the School of Architecture.

Like any library, the microlibraries will be set up with freely available books and other materials completely open to the public. The microlibraries will also serve as an interactive artistic element to USC’s campus, serving a dual purpose of art as well as a public stop for literary resources.

The 10 microlibraries will be separated by the information they provide. They will address questions such as to how the design of a space shape the experience of interacting with information and whether or not a student or any engaged person can determine the truth when given access to information that is censored and mediated.

Olvera, in addition to the Los Angeles-based curators or creators of the microlibraries, will be giving walking tours of the future microlibrary sites. Reservations are required and admission is free and open to USC students, staff, faculty, alumni and the general public.

Part two of this event, “Exhibition Opening and Discussion,” will be held April 5 at 4 p.m. in Doheny Library, room 240. The event will feature a discussion given by Olvera and former senior editor of Capitol Weekly and current State Librarian of California, Greg Lucas.