A Living Library in the Art Gallery - why not, there is some great art in the library

By Staff

January 26th, 2023


Image: Natalie King


As an educational organization, the Art Gallery of Burlington understands the important role libraries play as a site where everyday knowledge, experiences, and literacies are valued. Living Library program is a year-long initiative with rotating and overlapping artists and authors’ projects, which provides free and equitable access to events, a maker space, books, and room to sprawl.

Like a library, it encourages the exchange of a broad range of human knowledge, experience, traditions, and ideas in a welcoming and supportive environment. It promotes the sharing of resources and stories through resting, writing, reading, listening, and looking.

Living Library is an all-ages, flexible space designed to foster connectivity and meet the changing needs of Burlingtonians. The space is activated by regular contributors, such as artists, cultural workers, community organizers, and audiences. Living Library is built with the explicit intention of creating space in the institution wherein people want to spend more time resting and creating. It strives to build connections and make new friends.

The space consists of tables, nooks, plants, rugs, seating, vessels, a chalkboard, and shelves full of books to read and materials to create with. It is sophisticated, yet playful, in design to be inviting for multiple generations and comfortable for a diverse range of learners. Opening its doors on January 25, the Living Library welcomes visitors with artworks by artists Erika DeFreitas, Jeffrey Gibson, and Natalie King.


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