Jane, and Jan Lewis. Building
a Knowledge Base in Reading. Portland:
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 1997.
explored through the process of introducing it and teaching it to
environments and tools are more conducive to creating young readers -
those children capable of more than just pronouncing the words, but of
deriving meaning from a text.
research has implications on the types of spaces needed for readers.
It may be necessary to go back to the stage when we learn to read
to discover how the appreciation of literature can be lost or never
achieved at all. The factor of the physical environment in the process is a
relevant part; this involves both the surrounding people and the space
Michael, et al. Library
Academy Editions, 1997.
defined the book, the library and their interdependence.
The functions of library as storage and library as accessible to
the individual are explored through architectural essays and
benefits from this historical summary of the library - its origins and
its evolution based on changing needs.
It explains the expectations of a library: “We may want to be
where the pursuit of knowledge is celebrated.
And that celebration may well show itself through architecture;
through the manipulation of space, the control of light and sound and
movement, the creation of meaning, achieved by the thoughtful use of
materials… the traditional pleasures of architecture” (p.9).
Recent examples collectively demonstrate the qualities of the
ideal library. This ideal necessitates an intimate understanding of the
readers’ needs and the physicality of books.
Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
London: Morrison & Gibb Limited, 1977.
A dream sequence introduces
the fanciful characters conceived in Alice’s mind.
Oddities become the expected: curious landscapes, inconstant
scales, clothed and articulate forest creatures, an animated deck of
cards,… the lingering grin of a certain Cheshire Cat.
It is a reminder to “find a pleasure in all [the] simple joys,
remembering [our] own childlife, and the happy summer days” (p.162).
Lewis. Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.
New York: Avenel Books, 1976.
match unlike any other: Alice steps through the looking glass to join
leagues with a dynamic set of playing pieces.
A game proceeds where each move corresponds with new encounters,
reams of poetry and nonsense (often in combination), and unlikely
events. It is a map that
guides a return to the wonderland
found in slumber.
Carroll’s fictional works became a datum - a reference point, or a
(re)starting point, generating the thesis.
They instigated the notions of escapism and inspired serious
thought into make-believe and how this ability withdraws with adulthood.
Curiosity, belief in the impossible, imagination - these are
necessities. These creative
works lent an enlightenment to initial ideas of fiction as a means of
release. Certain passages
insisted upon reflection:
When I used
to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and
now here I am in the middle of one. (Wonderland,
Who are you?
…I hardly know, sir, just at present - at least I know who I was
this morning but I think I must have changed several times since then. (Wonderland,
Be what you
would seem to be - or if you’d like it put more simply - never imagine
yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that
what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had
been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.
… if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it
isn’t, it ain’t. That’s
logic. (Looking Glass,
Dumpty: If he smiled much more, the ends of his mouth might meet
behind.. and then I don’t know what would happen to his head!
I’m afraid it would come off!
(Looking Glass, p.118)
of reinventing yourself, reinventing your world, remembering that
reinvention is an option. Their
sometimes-nonsense composition and silly imagery provoke laughter. These
effects initiate the want of similar goals for architectural definition.
of Some Modern Novels. London:
Field & Tuer, 1884.
the implications of fiction on morality? An overall comment is made on
this subject and further elaborated through exploration of contemporary
examples (of the time).
context is given to the thesis. A
new perspective on the silent user is gained; the contents of those
shelved users have a real history of struggle.
Accusations of inspiring immorality and subsequent issues of
censorship attest to the power of the written word.
Fiction as a potential threat to blissful ignorance: this becomes
a parameter of interest for the thesis.
Umberto. Six Walks in the Fictional Woods.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.
Why and how
we read novels, what we give up and what we gain, what we bring in from
reality and what we edit out, how we invoke the use of imagination -
fiction is explored through the presence of the reader.
confirmed and articulated how fiction is a tool for self-learning, and
how it is also a prompt to see further and remove established blinders.
The reader, the user of a library space, is identified. Their intentions as readers and their ‘change of state’
during the reading process are described.
An involved reader will subconsciously adapt to become the sort
of reader that the story seems to necessitate.
“By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us
when we try to say something true about the world.
This is the consoling function of narrative - the reason people
tell stories, and have told stories from the beginning of time”
(p.87). It recalls a sense
of history to the thesis and provokes images of campfire gatherings and
spontaneous eruptions of collective or individual creativity.
This work contributes to the imaginative spirit of the thesis.
Doreen. Literature and Possible Worlds.
London: Middlesex Polytechnic Press, 1983.
actual world to include possible worlds.
The device for such expansion is a combined effort from fiction
and imagination, an alliance between author and reader.
It is an attempt to understand the role and consequences for all
players involved in a work of fiction.
escapist ‘plotting’ of fiction is validated and the ramifications
thereof explained. The library users adopt a state of mind that could be
extruded to define the physical space.
To where do thoughts travel during reading?
What mental state do readers assume?
How is the escape provided by fiction captured by a space? This exploration provokes these questions essential to the
success of the thesis.
Molly Abel. Reading Cultures: The Construction of Readers in the Twentieth Century.
Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998.
recounts the tradition of reading, the development and expansion of
reader demographics, and further hypothesizes on the nature of the
cyberspace reader. These are examined with respect to contemporary issues and
themes, such as racism and feminism.
Historical references and the social role of reading contribute to the definition of the group spaces of the library. Psychological aspects further add to the complexity of the user and the individual spaces of the library: the “reader is both herself and standing outside herself… an attempt to confront ourselves with ourselves” (p.14). The library becomes not only a retreat for the mind, but an opportunity to renew and (re)discover ourselves.