This month I am running 6 pop up publishing sessions across three libraries in London : Hounslow Library; Islington Central Library (First Steps Learning Centre) and Wembley Library. All the sessions are free and last for about 3 hours in the evening. The sessions are part of the Librarypress project which aims to get more people publishing.
The aim is to introduce bookleteer.com as a simple way to create and share publications that can be both physical (paper) and digital (readable online). Everyone is welcome, no technical/computer experience required or previous publishing experience. Bring stories, pictures, ideas and we’ll help you turn them into simple publications you can make and share.
We are hoping that some gems will emerge over the sessions – we have arranged with Librarypress to select up to 12 books by participants for inclusion in the Periodical, to be printed professionally and posted out to subscribers.
The sessions are :
Hounslow Library : Tuesday 6th & Thursday 8th May 5-8pm
Islington Central Library : Monday 19th & Thursday 22nd May 4.30-7.45pm
Wembley Library : Tuesday 20th & Friday 23rd May 5-7.45pm
From Friday 2nd December we’ll be running a free monthly meet up event for people wanting to find out more about using bookleteer or to get together with others and share tips and tricks for getting the most out of it. Donations will be welcome for refreshments and, most particularly, anyone choosing to sign up for the Alpha Club to help support the ongoing costs of maintaining and hosting the platform.
We’ll be running a drop-in Bookleteer workshop at the upcoming Platform Festival, which celebrates the launch of Islington’s new arts venue for young people, held during the 15th to the 31st of July.
If you’re aged 13 – 19, bring your ideas and digital content – photographs, stories, text, art – on a USB key drive, or create a Dropbox account and share the relevant files, and we’ll sign you up to Bookleteer, help you create your eBook or Storycube, then print and make it, for you to take home on the day and share online.
We’ll be there on Monday 25th July, from 2 – 4 pm, at:
Platform Hornsey Road Baths 260 Hornsey Road London N7 7QT
It is now a year since we launched the short run printing service so now seemed like a good time to reflect on what people in different areas have been using the printing service for. In this post we reflect on its use in two projects connected to the British Museum.
Julie Anderson, the Assistant Keeper of Egyptian and Sudanese Antiquities at the British Museum used Bookleteer to create 1000 books in Arabic and English about the 10 year Sudan excavation to share the findings with the local community in Sudan.
Following the distribution of the book, teenagers began coming to our door in the village to ask questions about the site / archaeology / their own Sudanese history… connecting with their history as made possible through the booklet. It was astonishing. More surprising was the reaction people had upon receiving a copy. In virtually every single case, they engaged with the Book immediately and began to read it or look through it….The Book has served not only as an educational tool, but has empowered the local community and created a sense of pride and proprietary ownership of the ruins and their history.
Bookleteer was used in the Melanesia Project to record, Porer and Pinbin, indigenous people from Papua New Guinea discussing objects in the British Museum collection. Bookleteer was used first to create simple notebooks that were printed out on an office printer and handmade. Anthropologist James Leach used them to note the discussion in both English and Tok Pisin, next to glued in polaroid images, to produce a record that involved;
capturing the moment of what we were doing and what we were seeing.
Once filled in, the notebooks were scanned and professionally printed to share with the local community in Papua New Guinea (who have a subsistence lifestyle without electricity).
“[…] As something to give people, they’re an extremely nice thing. People are very keen. I also took some to an anthropology conference before I went [to Papua New Guinea] and would show them to people and they’d immediately say “Oh, is that for me?” People kind of like them. They’re nice little objects.”
Researcher and community education worker Gillian Cowell has used the books as part of a community project with Greenhill Historical Scoiety:
“I think, for community work, it’s really important that you engage in much more unique and creative and interesting ways as a way of trying to spur some kind of interest and excitement in community work […] The books are such a lovely way for that to actually fit with that kind of notion.”
Bookleteer is an online service to help you create and publish booklets and StoryCubes. It’s simple, quick and free – print and make them in minutes using only a pair of scissors, or share them online, anywhere there is an internet connection, computer and standard inkjet or laser printer.
Created at our first Pitch Up & Publish event by Matthew Sheret, co-founder of We Are Words + Pictures, Expeditions in Paper Science is a compilation of blog posts written for his website. Matthew says:
“I’ve long been interested in the idea of physicalising web articles, and while an industry has solidified around POD in the last few years they remain a step removed from the immediacy I’m itching for. Bookleteer instantly unlocked that; simple cut-’n’-paste gave me a nice little document I’ve been throwing around since.”
We’ve added some more dates (with different times of day) for Pitch Up & Publish sessions where you can find out more about using bookleteer for your own projects. These sessions are limited to just 6 people at a time so we can respond to your particular interest – whether you’re a complete beginner or want to explore more advanced uses. If you’d like to take part, but the times or the dates don’t suit – please get in touch and we’ll do our best to arrange an alternative time or day.
Giles posted about our upcoming Pitch Up & Publish workshops for 2011 last week – we’ve just confirmed the dates, and the Eventbrite page is now live. The sessions are taking place on:
Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm
Tuesday 12th April 2011, 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm
Tuesday 26th April 2011, 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm
4th Floor 101 Turnmill Street
EC1M 5QP London
A series of workshops to help you make the most of bookleteer : guiding you from concept to publication and beyond. The 2 hour workshops will be held at our studio every 2-3 weeks and will have a maximum of 6 places. We will help beginners get started and offer more advanced users a collaborative space in which to explore new uses and ideas, sharing our knowledge and experiences.
The sessions will cover everything from basic level introduction to specific topics – such as designing project notebooks, embedding multimedia links via QR codes and preparing books for printing via our Short Run Printing Service. We also plan to run specific themed workshops to share our experiences and methods of using bookleteer to work with kids in schools, with community groups and in other more specialist settings.
We’re starting a new regular series of Pitch Up & Publish workshops to help people get started and make the most use out of bookleteer as possible : guiding them from concept to publication and beyond. The 2 hour workshops will be held at our studio, will have a maximum of around 6 places and will probably be held every 2-3 weeks.
We’d like to hear what sort of things you’d like help with: from basic level introduction to specific topics – such as designing project notebooks, embedding multimedia links via QR codes and preparing books for printing via our Short Run Printing Service. If there’s interest we can run specific workshops aimed at transferring our experiences of working with kids in schools to use bookleteer, or with other community groups.
Each workshop place will cost about £20 (UKP) and will include complimentary Alpha Club membership, discount on Short Run Printing Service orders and a free pack of new Medium size StoryCubes. You’ll be able to book places online via eventbrite.
We’d also like to hear whether people would prefer the sessions to be run during the day or evening – we may alternate if it helps more people take part.
Please contribute with your suggestions and requests – we’d like these sessions to be as useful and focused on your needs as possible. You can post comments here, or add them to the discussion on Facebook.
Pitch Up Publish 10: Augmented Reading took place last Thursday and thanks to our excellent participants I had a fantastic afternoon. Alan Chamberlain from Mixed Reality Lab, David Crowley and Jeremy Millar from the RCA, James Bridle and Josh, Rob and Fabia from getmorelocal were knowledgable, inspiring, provocative and entertaining and I ended the afternoon with more questions than answers and hope that we can get together for another attempt to unravel the potential of augmented reading in the future!
Plenty of arm waving during discussions – got to be a good sign!
Each of the participants had their own take on what counts as augmented reading and it was great that this covered online and offline, technological and no-tech concepts. Discussions around questions of whether augmenting written text with audio, video or intereactive content augments or diminishes the reading experience, what role do books-as-objects play in our life as we move towards electronic readers and iPhone apps and how much we can expect readers to construct their own reading experience were fascinating and opened up new ways for me to think about books, their place in our lives and authoring and reading.
Getting hands-on and exploring augmented reading through a bookleteer project that combined eBooks, StoryCubes, Second Life and QR codes
One of the most interesting conversations for me was hearing everyone’s ideas about the bookleteer eBooks and StoryCubes and how these might be used to augment the creation, reading and symbolism of books and text. We talked a lot about collaborative construction of stories and text especially how the StoryCubes hide some stories at the same time as they allow you to reveal others and considered how bookleteer might allow groups to collaboratively produce eBooks. This was such an intriguing question that we’re currently trying to figure it out as we collaborate with the Augmented Reading participants to produce an eBook of our cumulative notes. I’ll let you know how it turns out..
Stripes rule! But checks are pretty cool too..
(All photos by Karine and Shalene – good work girls!)
Tony and the students from Brunel getting to grips with bookleteer
It was a busy week in the studio last week. Thursday was PU&P 10: Augmented Reading which I’ll write about soon and on Wednesday we hosted a private PU&P for Tony White and his creative writing students from Brunel University.
Tony has been working with the Brunel students to encourage the use of writing as a way of understanding different disciplines. The students have been given the task of producing a piece of work inspired either by the working-class social history archive at Brunel University or by conversation and encounter with a person working in a different discipline. Wednesday gave them the opportunity to visit the studio and play with Bookleteer which is the format they will use to present these pieces of writing. I’m looking forward to seeing what they produce.
Tony is an old friend of Proboscis and an experienced bookleteer. In the summer of 2009 he created a series of eBooks as part of the Balkanising Bloomsbury project while he was writer in residence at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) supported by the Leverhulme Trust through their artists in residence programme. The story for Balkanising Bloomsbury was created by cutting up, remixing and re-narrativising fragments from various sources including the Sydney Morning Herald, transcripts from the trial of Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the Richard Burton translation of The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night. You can find the Balkanising Bloomsbury eBooks on diffusion.org.uk.