Photography exhibition immortalises closing South Shields library

Photographer Jo Hislop with images from her exhibition The Story of a Library, at South Shields Central Library.
Photographer Jo Hislop with images from her exhibition The Story of a Library, at South Shields Central Library.

A photography exhibition aims to immortalise the life of a South Tyneside library before it closes its doors forever.

The Story of a Library project was created to mark the transition from Central Library, in Prince Georg Square, South Shields, to new building The Word, in the town’s Market Place.

Photographer Jo Hislop with images from her exhibition The Story of a Library, at South Shields Central Library.

Photographer Jo Hislop with images from her exhibition The Story of a Library, at South Shields Central Library.

The exhibition, part of the Arts in Libraries scheme, was officially unveiled at Central Library, complete with snaps, from local professional and amateur photographers alike, detailing life at the library.

Project leader, Jo Hislop, said: “The exhibition will be a great opportunity to come and see all the different ways in which people have creatively engaged with the project, using photography to form visual narratives about the library and its role within the community.

“From portraiture to architecture, some of the work simply catches the spirit of the building and the people who use it, whilst other images highlight the range of activities and events that take place here. We will see a coming together of all the different groups and individuals that have been involved through a selection of exciting imagery.”

The photographs are hanging in the library foyer after photographers, library staff, avid readers and community group members got involved.

The exhibition will be a great opportunity to come and see all the different ways in which people have creatively engaged with the project, using photography to form visual narratives about the library and it’s role within the community.

Jo Hislop, project leader

Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “This project offered people a wonderful opportunity to help us capture the life and times of the Central Library’s final year through the art of photography. We hope that people will come along and enjoy the collection of photographs on display.

“As we invest in new libraries in the borough we are keen to link the old with the new as well as promote our libraries as more than just book lending services but as real community venues where people can get inspired by the arts.”

Julia Robinson, senior librarian, added: “It’s been very interesting to watch the project develop and the various ways that people have interpreted our request to photography everyday life of the library.

“Staff have really embraced the project too and it has really helped us to understand what is important to people about the library from what they have chosen to photograph. We have seen the building in a whole new light.”

Photographer Jo Hislop with images from her exhibition The Story of a Library, at South Shields Central Library.

Photographer Jo Hislop with images from her exhibition The Story of a Library, at South Shields Central Library.

Photographer Jo Hislop with images from her exhibition The Story of a Library, at South Shields Central Library.

Photographer Jo Hislop with images from her exhibition The Story of a Library, at South Shields Central Library.