Looking Beyond Recycling: The Living Taking and Giving Back Library

Tags: waste | engagement | recycling | waste management

Looking Beyond Recycling: The Living Taking and Giving Back Library  image #1

The Living Taking and Giving Back Library was developed by Margaret Jennings from Goldsmiths University of London. It is about discarded items that have been collected, categorized, arranged and offered for re-use by others. People are invited to take objects away and replenish the shelves from the art installation with those that they find.

Hear Margaret talking about the Living Taking and Giving Back Library in more detail in this video below. You can also download her presentation here

Here are some FAQs about the Library:

How was the Living Taking and Giving Back Library set up – was it one individual collating things or was it more of a donation session ?

The Living Library was set up completely by Margaret Jennings in shock at what was being thrown out.

Where was the Living Taking and Giving Back Library set up and how are there so many?

Margaret has set up quite a few libraries now. They are different every time in relation to what she finds in that particular area. They have been set up in universities and also at other sites.

How does the Library work across campus?

The participation factor works for different people in different ways. Some don’t feel obliged to give back, others do.

How do you get people excited by the Library?

The Library is Margaret's artwork and she tries to set it up in a way that interests people. She tries to entice people to be curious about it and engage with it.

Did you encounter any health and safety regulations as people will be able to take things and maybe hurt themselves – has this caused any issues?

Margaret doesn't shelve anything that she thinks might cause problems. Anything necessary is washed  out carefully.. but she doesn’t pick up dirty stuff.

Margaret's email is margaretkokoroarts@gmail.com if you have any questions about the Library.