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[InetBib] FYI: SSSHHH! British Library on BBC Radio 4 - leider nur noch 2 Tage!

SSSHHH! (The Best-Read Office in the World)

Duration: 30 minutes
First broadcast: Saturday 21 July 2012

Last Mon 15 Oct 2012  23:00 BBC Radio 4

It's an office in which the telephone rarely rings. But when it does,
hundreds turn to stare in collective disapproval, especially when the
ringtone is a snatch of Jay-Z. The world's knowledge lives here -
although it is to be seen only in tiny glimpses: a pile of books or
manuscripts or maps on a desk. Most of these treasures live elsewhere,
in the basements that are never seen - which are closely guarded. Who
are the people of the stacks, those 600 kilometres of bookshelves that
roam 24 metres underground the British Library? What is the secret of
the heartbeat of the building, the magnificent George III library that
sits, a space within a space, in the centre of the building? Who was
this building's architect, and how did he create such an extraordinary
environment not just for learning and creativity, but also for social

With its cavernous modern vistas and restaurants, outsiders sometimes
compare the British library to a busy airport. But it is not: it is a
five star resort for people who read. And like the most popular
resorts it has peak holiday seasons when eager readers must arrive
early, put their metaphorical towel on a deck chair to guarantee
intellectual sunshine that day. Before the doors open at 9.30 the
queue outside snakes as far as the perpetual traffic jam that is the
Euston Road. There are no seat privileges.

Who said the library was an anachronism?

Every day thousands of pages of novels and film scripts, doctorates
and popular histories, poems and business plans are written here,
unknown to anyone but the author. Professors and students commune with
books and journals, notebooks and IPads, and, most of all, with the
gods and goddesses of creativity, in the fervent hope that the day's
writing goes well.

Start-up companies learn about intellectual property, novelists travel
mentally to conceptualize faraway lands, resting actors work on that
novel. Digerati upstairs formulate the library of the future.

This is not a university, though there are many students; neither a
public library, though it's free to join. It's a brains trust and an
intellectual catwalk, a competition in erudition and eccentricity,
obscurantism and silent comedy. With the help of Robin Hunt - Reader
170890 - we'll discover the peoples that inhabit the modernist jungle
of the British Library.

Producer: Vera Frankl
An IGA Production for BBC Radio 4.



Listeninformationen unter http://www.inetbib.de.