What will the library of the future look like?

As part of the London Word Festival, a night will be devoted to looking at what the library of the future might look like. Much more than just bricks and mortar, the public lending library has long been considered the cornerstone of an educated and literate population, but what lies ahead for the future?

Borrowing its title from Sidney Smith’s description of books, No Furniture So Charming gathers artists, writers, creatives, technologists and architects to present their vision for the library of the future. Be it a personal utopia, a visionary work of science fiction, a digital or practical re-imagining of user centred design or a call to action.

A crack panel of hardback, paperback and e-book judges will discuss and debate the merits of each idea as they pay homage to a revered space in times of change.


  • Nora Daly (British Library)
  • Charles Holland (FAT Architecture)
  • Chris Meade (if:book)
  • Phillip Jones (The Bookseller & co-founder of FutureBook)


  • Tom Armitage (Game designer and Technologist)
  • Kirsten Campbell (Writer and Educational games designer)
  • Rachel Coldicutt (Creative Producer)
  • Ruth Beale (Artist & Pamphlet Librarian)
  • Nicky Kirk (Architect, Amenity Space)
  • Peter Law (Reader of books and Digital producer)
  • Stef Lewandowski (Co-founder of Aframe, Clore Fellow)
  • Trenton Oldfield (Coordinator, This Is Not A Gateway)
  • Jon Stone & Kirsty Irving (Sidekick Books/Fuselit)
  • Dan Thompson (Empty Shops Network)

Hosted by Travis Elborough

Travis Elborough is the author of The Bus We Loved: London’s Affair With the Routemaster, The Long-Player Goodbye: The Album From vinyl To iPod And Back Again and Wish You Were Here – England on Sea. He reviews for The Guardian, and has contributed to New StatesmanThe Sunday TimesZembla and The Oldie.

You can buy tickets here

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