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Kunstbibliothek
Kunstbibliothek

The dynamic organization of the Art Library arises from Daniel Rohner’s personal approach to collecting books. Thanks to radio frequency technology, books can be placed in new compilations and their location changed again and again at will. This dynamic way of arranging books facilitates serendipitous discoveries: one finds books on the shelves that one had not been looking for, but nevertheless might be of interest in one’s own research.

The books were first equipped with radio frequency tags in a pilot project. These tags hold the bibliographic details in a radio frequency chip, which is connected with an electronic reading and writing device and therefore with the catalogue. The reading device for this radio frequency identification (RFID) technology extends throughout the library space. This opens up perspectives that go far beyond streamlining. There is no longer any pressure to use the library in a disciplined manner—each book can be placed anywhere in the wall of books and be found nonetheless. This gives the library a dynamic organization in which groups of books come together and disperse once again. These groups depict references produced by individual users, with their diverse objectives and working methods. At the interfaces of various interests, cross-references arise as a result of fruitful coincidences that provide unexpected insights.

The RFID tags in the book covers also make it possible to do away with traditional library call numbers. Thanks to the most modern technology, the individual book’s bibliophile qualities are preserved and its individual value as a designed medium for passing on knowledge and information with an age-old tradition can be retained. As a result of this and the new freedom that users have, the private character of the Art Library in the Sitterwerk also endures. The relationships between book and art form the common thread that also underscores the thematic emphasis of the Art Library in the Sitterwerk.