Perpetual Proposal is a system to initiate and record the flow of books within an exhibition as reading room. The Books (selected by Sophie Demay and Charlotte Cheetham) all deal with the form and content of the book as a subject. Being interested in mathematician and librarian S.R. Raganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science*, Fay and Oliver encourage visitors to the exhibition to select books from the peg board display and browse through them at their leisure. Investigating the idea of a reader as both a consumer and (re)producer of knowledge Fay and Oliver ask visitors to select a page using a book mark for our librarian to copy. The rationale behind page selection is left in hands of each reader.
Throughout his/her shift the librarian will copy and index selected pages, binding them into a compendium that will enter the selection of exhibited books each day. These new additions both document the use of, and add to, the collection of exhibited books.
* Raganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science are:
1. BOOKS ARE FOR USE.
2. EVERY READER HIS (OR HER) BOOK.
3. EVERY BOOK ITS READER.
4. SAVE THE TIME OF THE USER
5. THE LIBRARY IS A GROWING ORGANISM
Here is a diagram that charts the proposed flow of books around the space: