Published in print and digital edition, 2015.

Inland’s new book focuses on the current development of library spaces as public institutions through the perspective of architects, writers, librarians, and readers. Bookspace: Collected Essays on Libraries addresses the architecture of modern public spaces, and the development of library collections in the age of digital information, in order to discuss the larger social context of libraries as institutions. It provides an insight into their management and how their functions are changing.

Preview a sample selection of pages from the eBook edition here.



A comprehensive look at the social role of libraries is a key part of the book. In the Western World, constant funding cuts – justified with austerity measures and the economic crises – affect the functioning and closing of libraries. While in the Middle East and Northern Africa, the challenges arise from socio-political crises and military regimes. Thus, threatening the preservation and sharing of knowledge, and overshadowing those libraries’ historical roots and social roles.

The speed of technical innovation makes any discussions of future developments uncertain. A well-rounded critical debate of the current state of libraries, which for centuries have been vital sources and distributors of knowledge and information, seems to be an important step to better understand what drives our society. Recognising how patterns of information distribution and consumption are changing, we aim to suggest how they might evolve in the near future.


Heba El-Sherif is a writer by education, a news junkie corrupt by working as a local reporter for a couple of years in Egypt. She has worked with both Daily News Egypt and Al Jazeera English after completing a BA in Journalism from the American University in Cairo. She is now a freelance cultural writer in Cairo. She is also on Twitter @hebalsherif.

Marie Lécrivain is a graphic designer specialising in publishing. Marie holds a degree from the École de Recherche Graphique in Brussels, where in 2012 she founded the Fonds de Documentation et de Lecture (FDDDL). She is also co-publisher at La Houle – an art and literature non-profit press. Marie has worked as an art bookseller, a media archivist, and has volunteered at St. Bride Library, London. She is currently enrolled in an MA in Cultural Studies, doing research on online libraries and digital archives at KU Leuven, Belgium.

Julius Motal is a freelance photographer from New York, with a penchant for street photography and a desire to tell stories. He is Executive Editor at The Phoblographer, a photography news, reviews and culture website. His work has been published in Impose Magazine, Voices of NY, New York Observer, Commercial Observer, Time Out Istanbul in English and several books.

Jorge Reis is an architect from Lisbon. He holds a Master of Science in Architecture from ISCTE at the University Institute of Lisbon, where he is also completing an Executive Master in Corporate Finance from INDEG. Jorge regularly participates in international conferences with research in the theory and practice concerning cultural influences of Romanticism and Early Modernism in literature and architecture.

João Torres is an architect currently working at Züst Gübeli Gambetti in Zurich. He completed his Master thesis [Re] Think the Alcântara Hub Through a Hybrid Building: Lisbon’s Central Library and Municipal Archive in 2012, after which he was finalist in Secil Students Awards and President’s Medal Students Awards (RIBA, London). In 2013 his thesis project won the Competition for Archiprix Portugal Awards. He has since participated in conferences and exhibitions in London (RIBA), Lisbon (School of Fine Arts, Note Gallery, Trindade Palace) and Madrid.

Tom Vandeputte is a writer and theorist based in London and Amsterdam. He is head of the Critical Studies programme at the Sandberg Institute and a visiting lecturer at King’s College London. Tom received an MRes with distinction from the London Consortium and is currently completing his doctoral research at the Centre for Culture Studies, Goldsmiths College. He is co-founder of The New Reader, a journal for theory at the intersection of art, philosophy and politics.