Growing the library

Post by Helena Collins…

As a student studying Liberal Arts, which is a very flexible degree delving into many aspects of life and knowledge of our past and present world, I have thoroughly enjoyed working to catalogue and grow the Climate Museum library. This library travels and forms part of our Pop-up Museum. In the Pop-ups, visitors are invited to make their own small books or stories, to add to the collection or to take away.

Over the past few weeks, we have been growing the library and cataloging a huge range of novels and non-fiction books all about climate change and all kinds of interactions found within our planet, from those between people to those between physical features across the surface of planet Earth. What makes our collection distinct is the fact that the books include individual perspectives on climate change, expressed through things such as:

  • the views of artists in handmade books
  • exploring different ways of life experienced in many different countries across the world, and how different people are affected by climate change
  • expressed through mediums such as factual text or enticing graphic images.

This allows the library to be inclusive of the subjectivity of people’s opinions on a global scale, as well as the objectivity of scientific and geographical facts across the world; thus, a wide variety of connections are created. Many countries, opinions and ways of life are reached within the books, and every person the books are about or read by are united by the common theme of climate change and environmental harm, which these books have the aim of making us aware of. There is definitely a book for any person of any age within the library to relate to and understand.

To make the library itself as widespread and inclusive as its contents, we have created a board on the Climate Museum UK collection on Pinterest called Climate books and stories. This includes but goes beyond the printed books in our library. It’s a resource to inspire people to read and learn, with several sections including articles on climate change, non-fiction and science, novels, short stories and poems to do with climate change. This resource is a way in which we can expand the topics and content included within the library’s books through linking them to the issues around climate change as communicated in our current society.

This board is for anyone who is interested in climate change and wants to explore it through many different ways. Someone could use the board if they don’t know much about climate change and want to introduce themselves to it through a look on media coverage throughout the world. Alternatively, someone who wants to introduce their children to the issues within our modern world could find a short story linked to climate change. Of course, the board includes a wide variety of books as well!

For anyone who wants a more visual perspective on climate change, Climate Visuals is another board in which there are many incredibly interesting and captivating photos which bring the words in the library to life through beautiful photography on many aspects of climate change, such as personal stories of people impacted by the terrible things going on right now. All the images pinned here are open source or Creative Commons, available for free use as long as you attribute the source.

Coming back to the library itself, here are some of our favourite books in the collection, picked for a wide variety of ages and interests.

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StoryWorlds: A Moment in Time : a Perpetual Picture Atlas by Thomas HegbrookIMG_3927

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This is a book which has been created to introduce readers to the world. It is set out through demonstrating how life can be shown through pictures at any exact moment to be so different in many parts of the world. 

 

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Climate Justice: A Man-Made Problem With a Feminist Solution by Mary Robinson

 

This is a manifesto for change in our current world. Everyone can make a change, and it’s important for us all to understand what is actually going on through understanding people who are experiencing the effects of climate change with more impact than those who are slightly more hidden from it in more developed countries. This book ensures that we understand this and it shows information on women who are highly impacted by the environmental crisis. 

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Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken

A book of solutions to reverse global warming from the opinions and ideas of many people, such as those working within the fields of politics and science. Every single one of us can take part in these solutions in our own way. A motivational, researched and engaging read for anyone who wants changes to happen for the better. 

 

An artist’s book: a story about an oil spill and a whale (by Bridget McKenzie)

 

 

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The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

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Hand-illustrated and beautifully created images of the environment and all kinds of wildlife make up this book, along with the theme of loss and the need for the regaining of knowledge of our natural world. The message behind this book is that unfortunately, within our modern society, children have lost the knowledge of the beauty of the world surrounding us all of the time and that needs to change.

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THUNDER & LIGHTNING by Lauren Redniss

 

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A compelling look at the understanding of weather and the effects and impacts of weather in the past, present and future on everyone’s decisions. Every decision has a cause and effect, and through the presence of climate change, these causes and effects go round and round in circles.

The library is constantly growing, and we hope that you will be really inspired by our collection. Also, if you have any book that you think would benefit the collection in any way, please tell us because we would love any influence on our current collection!

We’re particularly keen to receive donations of artist’s books, exhibition catalogues, or pamphlets produced through projects about climate and environment. If you want to donate, contact us on climatemuseumuk@gmail.com

Helena Collins

 

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