Craftspace in residence til 1st December

Craftspace are in residence at the Discovery Pavilion til 1st December, they invite you to add your story to a new artwork in the library celebrating the contribution migration has made to the success of the city. Images by Katja Ogrin.

Craftspace, along with lead-artist Jivan Astfalck, Shelanu: Women’s Craft Collective and MA students from the School of Jewellery are inviting visitors to contribute to an artwork which acknowledges the contribution of migration to Birmingham. Part of the library’s Discovery Season, the project will evolve over a week into a visual metaphor encompassing diverse experiences of migration to Birmingham.

Visitors will be invited to take a moment of reflection to write their experience of coming to, or being in, Birmingham on a piece of paper, in their first language. The paper will then be made into an origami flower which will become part of the ‘Story Meadow’. The stories will be shared on digital screens in the library and through social networking raising awareness of the positive contribution of migration to the city. As the week goes on the Pavilion will become home to a meadow of stories which reflect the diversity of the city.


Key migrant and refugee organisations in Birmingham will be invited to contribute to the artwork and books on migration will also be highlighted by the library for visitors.



ORE + KK Null – listen.


We’ve got a score of great gigs coming up, including Adrian Utley on 26th Nov at Library of Birmingham, performing Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ and Shellac + Helen Money on Monday 25th November at Rainbow Warehouse. Rounding up this trio of excellent shows is OM, always a fantastic live band, they’re joined by Lichens. Support comes from doom tuba group ORE, who will be playing as a trio.

“Just three years into their dual-tuba project, Birmingham’s ORE continue to evolve rapidly. From early drone/doom beginnings their music has lately drawn inspiration from Indian classical music and other improvisational influences to become something much more difficult to define.

Autumn 2013 sees them celebrating the release of their new double A side 7″ in collaboration with Japanese noise master KK Null on Endtyme Records, and for this performance they will be joined on drums by regular live collaborator Lydia Glanville.”

Listen to a sample of their record with KK NULL, a project born out of their collaborative performance with the Japanese noise artists and Zeni Geva frontman at Supersonic 2012.

Tickets for OM + ORE at Rainbow Warehouse are available via


The Paperless Stack / Sat 7th Dec

This blogpost was written by Beth Bramich for Eastside Projects, they present The Paperless Stack panel discussion on Saturday 7th December at Library of Birmingham, part of Volume.
The new Library of Birmingham is a huge investment in a public resource for the city at a time when the future of libraries across the country is uncertain.

 Interior, the Library of Birmingham. When explaining her vision for the Library lead architect Francine Houben said, “We don’t know what the future of the library will be so we have designed space for change, to last over the next 100 years.”

The new Library is intended to act as a centre for the community. Aiming to transform lives through learning, knowledge and culture, its remit stretches far beyond what we might expect from a traditional library, offering spaces to socialise, access local history, develop a business plan, attend a theatrical performance, visit an exhibition and more. But as much as the new Library embraces its many roles and seamlessly incorporates new technology throughout, it puts books at its heart.

The Library has been built to house a collection of over a million physical books, including printed materials dating from the 17th Century housed in the Shakespeare Memorial Library, but it has also been shaped by the digital innovations that have developed over the last two decade in publishing.

New digital formats for books are revolutionising the way we read. Accessed both through computers, mobile phones, tablets and dedicated devices, e-books offer readers instant access to the books that they want, and additional features such as search functions and a networked reading experience. E-book sales surged during 2011-2012 (in the US surpassing sales of hardcover books for the first time in early 2012) and while they have levelled somewhat in 2013, demand remains high from those who have been completely converted to e-ink, to those who now happily read across many different formats.

Third generation Amazon Kindle, showing text from the novel Moby-Dick.

At the same time as all these books, both print and digital, are being read, whether downloaded, bought online or picked up in your local book store, library usage is down. This is putting libraries, particular small local libraries, under pressure, as cuts to funding for local authorities are causing all spending on public services to be scrutinised.

One potential area for attracting new library users is to offer e-books as part of regular lending services. E-lending, where e-books can be borrowed from a library in the same manner as a physical book for a limited period of time, has had several set backs as a number of models for providing access to books and protecting their copyright have been put in place and then had to be re-worked as technology develops. A sustainable model that benefits publishers, libraries, authors and readers is still very much desired.

In the context of the new Library, which has responded to the challenges facing libraries by re-imagining its purpose and function, putting great emphasis on diversifying what it can offer and improving access to digital facilities, it is important to ask how all libraries can be resilient and adapt to the changing needs of their users.

View of the King’s Library at the British Library. Photograph by Mike Peel.

Access to e-books is just one part of a larger conversation about what the public want and expect from library services today. Could a new breed of centralised super-library, offering online access to their resources, completely replace the local library? Do we even need physical libraries or would public money be better invested in, for example, offering greater access to the Internet?

The Paperless Stack will open up a debate about how new technologies used to translate and publish books in digital formats are affecting existing libraries and shaping the libraries of the future. With a panel of representatives from within the library sector, including Brian Gambles, Director of the Library of Birmingham and Lucie Burgess, Head of Content Strategy, Research and Operations at the British Library, the publishing industry and in the field of design this will be an in-depth discussion about what the library as an institution might become.

Saturday 7th December, 3pm.
Eastside Projects presents The Paperless Stack
Library of Birmingham
Free, booking via


Peter Bilak in conversation / Friday 6th Dec

Works That Work

This blog post is written by An Endless Supply who present ‘In Conversation with Peter Bilak’ on Friday 6th December at Library of Birmingham, part of Volume.

Works that Work is a new magazine that is something like the ‘National Geographic of design’. Its first two issues have travelled the globe for fascinating stories on far-ranging subjects including international food smugglers, the world’s biggest building, ad hoc chairs, and flies in urinals. Beyond great journalism it’s also thinking out loud about what a magazine can do in the 2010s.

Readers raised £29,000 to put its first issue into production and with the third issue the magazine intends to go ad-free. Works that Work is simultaneously published online and in print and has introduced a new model of ‘social distribution’, that pulls together a network of readers to promote and push the magazine, taking a share of the profits in the process. Reading groups have formed, and it has an exemplary blog, where posts have responded to reader’s feedback on the magazine’s binding, and, in Scritti Politti style, the costs of each issue have been made public.

Peter Bilak, editor of Works that Work, will speak at Volume about the magazine, and be joined by Eleanor Vonne Brown from X Marks the Bökship, to talk about reader relations, co-operatives, and different models of distribution. The talk takes place at Library of Birmingham, Friday 6th December, 3pm, and is free. You can book a place in advance via
In the meantime you can watch a video of a talk given by Peter earlier in the year in Amsterdam, here:


Books & Print Sandbox / 5th Dec


This blogpost is from Clare Reddington, Director, iShed (Bristol)and REACT Executive Producer. REACT present a day of exploration into the future of book and print on Thursday 5th December. Tickets are only £3 for a Writing for Digital workshop and a panel examining in the opportunities that new technology brings to writing and publishing.

No one thing can pick up where the book left off; instead it is everything, all of our networks, our services, our devices, the internet plus everything else, which will carry literature forward. James Bridle, Wired Magazine, April 2012

The continuing rise of cheap e-readers and tablets coupled with the prevalence of mobile and wifi networks means it is now easier than ever before to download and read whatever book you would like, whenever you would like to read it. This creates fantastic potential, but as yet the publishing industry hasn’t moved much further than simply aping the paper book in digital form.

Excited by the untapped creative and commercial opportunity of this area,  in January 2013 REACT launched Books & Print Sandbox to invest in new collaborations exploring the digital future of books & print publishing. Over a three month period eight partnerships of academics and creative businesses (and artists, choreographers, technologists, gamers, writers…) developed new product ideas to push at the edges of the possible and gather experience, insight and evidence in search of new commercial potential.

From the Secret Lives of Books, a beautiful interactive platform that visualizes the unexploited data of public libraries and bookshops, to ‘these pages fall like ash’, a digital-physical hybrid created where readers explore a city to discover (and write) the story, narrative remained very much at the projects’ heart, blending form and function to create entirely new types of book experience.

With opportunities to try stuff out, participate in a Books & Print workshop and hear about the projects, the event at The Library of Birmingham in December gives us a welcome opportunity to drop back in with the teams, eight months after the official end of their R&D period. Now in the process of taking their products to audiences, readers and customers, the project teams will tell their stories, reflect on the results and share insight with others seeking to create future book projects of their own.

Thursday 5th December 1pm- 5pm. Tickets for the panel and workshop are £3 via
The panel will be made up of Clare Reddington, Director of the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol, with Dave Addey, Managing Director of leading app development studio Agant; Tom Abba, lecturer in narrative theory at UWE, Bristol and member of artist collective Circumstance; Charlotte Quickenden, Managing Director of digital agency Bow Software; Laura Kriefman, Founder and Choreographer with innovative dance company Guerilla Dance Project.

Ticket holders for the Bill Drummond keynote event can access this afternoon event for free, please contact with VOLUME in the subject line for more details.



Meet Pram

Birmingham’s Pram craft fairytales from concrete reality. The second city’s spin cycle of perpetual renovation, from the slum clearances to its current cosmetic upgrade, is etched in Pram’s restless groove, an endearing and gently refusenik mix encircling early Rough Trade innovators The Raincoats, astro jazz, sci-fi soundtracks, creepy Victoriana, tropical analogue and tumbledown funk.

You can see Pram perform at the Library of Birmingham on Sunday 24th November, supporting the Adrian Utley Guitar Orchestra’s interpretation of Terry Riley’s ‘In C’. It’s the last show in our Discover New Music series for the opening season of the library –

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so don’t miss out!

Tickets are available via


Volume / lino printing workshop / Sat 7th December

During a three day event celebrating books and print, you can learn how to make a two to three colour reduction lino print in a limited capacity workshop. One piece of lino is used multiple times in one print, as the lino plate is recut after each colour printed. You will be guided through the process by the Birmingham Printmakers.

All you need to bring is an A5 image of something that inspires you in Birmingham (could be anything!) and some kind of protective clothing, such as an apron.

Birmingham Printmakers are currently celebrating the history of their work with an exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham Printmakers: Thirty Years of Printmaking 1983-2013, showcases work by members of the group.

The workshop takes place at the Library of Birmingham from 10am to 5pm and costs only £3. Book now via

This event is part of Volume: Birmingham’s Art, Book & Print Fair. 5-7 December.


November playlist

This month our playlist features a walking soundtrack by Adrian Utley, a short story by Bill Drummond and of course some noisy stuff by Shellac.