The Garden Library Database Visualization Project

Description (in English): 

The Garden Library database is an open‐air library located in a public park in the center of Tel Aviv. Established to serve the area’s refugee and migrant worker community, it aims to answer a concrete need as well as to manifest a socio‐political stance. The library has no security guard who checks and asks questions, no walls and no door. 

ARTEAM, the artists’ collective that initiated and designed the library, sought to break away from traditional classification categories and to realize an indexing system that would playfully manifest the values of an open society. Inspired by the freedom inherent in digital random‐access data retrieval the books are not catalogued according to genre or author name, but dynamically according to reader input, i.e. to the emotional response the books evoke in their readers. The library’s database visualization project will invite visitors to filter, sort and order the library books in multiple informative ways: according to the emotional categories, the various languages, the relative popularity of a particular category, etc. 

The history of the emotional judgments will permit dynamic illustration of “wandering maps,” displaying the relative placements of the books at any point in time and the dynamic changes over time. The visual mapping is intended to familiarize site visitors with the library’s reader communities, their opinions and preferences. A wiki feature will appeal to international visitors to complete the information about each and every book in the book’s native tongue. More information about the library indexing system at:

This work was supported by the World Class University (WCU) program funded by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology through the National Research Foundation of Korea (R32-20067).

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Record posted by: 
Elisabeth Nesheim