As a child growing up in Dunedin, the curious behemoth of layered concrete known as the Dunedin Public Library (designed by the City Council’s Architectural Division) always had a seemingly omnipresent feel as a ‘civic surveyor’ of the Octagon city-scape.
I remember various class trips, trolling through the shelves and finding myself lost within the books. It seemed all to easy to escape into the womb of my imagination by venturing into a window box or simply resting on the warmth of the carpet flooring. The escapism was most definitely the jam filling between the layers concrete sponge.
In a sense, I feel that libraries lead a double life with their role as public places in the city – as public places they facilitate collective intimacy as a refuge for the mind and soul.
In a way, I believe that these childhood spaces we experience have a significant part to play in the formation of self i.e. who we are (or think we are) and how we see the world.
For me, the Dunedin Public Library has and always will be about colouring books and felt-tip pens.
Acknowledgments and thanks to the staff at the Dunedin Public Library for allowing me to photograph inside.