Public Spaces: Collective Innovation Creating Opportunities for Books and Reading
My preferred way of experiencing literature is through the private act of reading even if sometimes I do it in public spaces. This intimate dialogue between writer and reader is the most magical of artistic experiences. This individual experience is enhanced and developed if environments are in place where books and reading flourish. Cities with good support structures for books and reading attract high calibre writers and build audiences for literature. These traditional structures are formed by libraries, publishers, literature development organisations, individuals and festivals that all work to build an ecology where audiences can access literature. However there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed if we are to respond in an increasingly complex world where geographic, consumer and artistic boundaries are less and less defined. Probably most significant is the need for those involved in promoting books and reading to rise to the challenge of new media and digital distribution. In 1998 the then Arts Council of England produced a guide to promoting ‘Live Literature’ under the section ‘New Technology’ it stated that: ‘Broadcasting and convergence media will create new means, not only of distribution, but also of actual creation; it is important to maintain a watching brief on developments in this area’. This presentation will explore whether we have gone beyond watching. It will also ask how those involved in literature in a locality can develop new thinking and approaches to literature in order to nurture innovation.
Keywords: Innovation, Technology, Regional, Challenge
Literature Officer, Visual Arts and Literature, Arts Council England