Temporary Library

Ajutine Ramaatukogu (Temporary Library)

Community library project
part of Artist-in-Residence in MoKS, Estonia

During a residency in a small Estonian village I established a temporary library of people´s favourite books. Starting point for this idea was a historic but derilict building in the village that was once supposed to become the village´s library. Referring to this possible use of the building I asked people if the building were to become a library, a community library in the true sense, which book of theirs would they like to be in it? To begin with I approached people spontanously on the streets using my role as a foreign guest. After these first encounters, people started recommending their neighbours and I was sent from home to home. Interesting discussions developed about the use of books, personal interests and the village´s needs. People not only shared their books with me but part of their daily life in Mooste.


Installation view „Temporary Library“, MoKS Gallery, Mooste

I continued to ask if they would lend a particular book for a period of one month to become part of the library, signing a contract with each borrower. More than 40 books came together in this collecting process. All of them were presented in a specifically designed library in the gallery of the village offering daily reading hours for one month. As a collection the books bear stories and tell about Mooste as a community. My favourite book in the library was a handmade children’s book by the artist Lembit Rull called “Juks ja Tuks seenel“(Juks and Tuks Go Mushrooming) which Rull made for his grandson in 1973 using characters from children stories from right before the Second World War. For the first time this book became part of a library and was shown to the public.