© 2020 Sue Jeong Ka

Book Repair Lab | La Biblioteca Restauradora, 2009-2014

Book Repair Lab (a new instantiation of the ongoing project Refresh Library Lab) takes an interventionist approach to book restoration within public libraries and questions what is circulation and consumption of knowledge. Since 2009, Book Repair Lab has borrowed damaged books from public libraries in the US, Mexico, and Korea in order to repair them, provide new book covers, replace missing pages, and then return them with the original library barcode intact. While traveling in 2012 with A47 Mobile Library truck in Mexico City, Book Repair Lab transitioned into a participatory project by enlisting Mexican residents (participants)–who can circulate Mexican public library books with their federal IDs– to locate and pass damaged books along to Book Repair Lab. In the context of hospitality as a performative act of identity, the residents took on the role of a host who provided a giving action to the project.