[artinfo] Radical Tactics of the Offline Library by Henry Warwick

Geert Lovink geert at xs4all.nl
Fri Jul 4 12:05:42 CEST 2014

Out now: Radical Tactics of the Offline Library by Henry Warwick

The Institute of Network Cultures is proud to 
announce the publication of Radical Tactics of 
the Offline Library by Henry Warwick, available 
in print, ePub and PDF format:


Be sure to check out the wonderful animation 
video below made by Anne Douris, which tells the 
story of offline libraries in under 17 minutes:


About the publication: The Personal Portable 
Library in its most simple form is a hard drive 
or USB stick containing a large collection of 
e-books, curated, archived and indexed by an 
individual user. The flourishing of the offline 
digital library is a response to the fact that 
truly private sharing of knowledge in the online 
realm is increasingly made impossible. While P2P 
sharing sites and online libraries with 
downloadable e-books are precarious, people are 
led to an atavistic and reversalist workaround. 
The radical tactics of the offline: abandoning 
the online for more secure offline transfer. 
Taking inspiration from ancient libraries as 
copying centers and Sneakernet, Henry Warwick 
describes the future of the library as digital 
and offline. Radical Tactics of the Offline 
Library traces the history of the library and the 
importance of the Personal Portable Library in 
sharing knowledge and resisting proprietarian 

The library in Alexandria contained about 500,000 
scrolls; the Library of Congress, the largest 
library in the history of civilization, contains 
about 35 million publications. A digital version 
of it would fit on a 24 terabyte array, which can 
be purchased for about $2000. Obviously, most 
people don't need 35 million books. A small local 
library of 10,000 books could fit on a 64 GB 
thumb drive the size of a pack of chewing gum and 
costing perhaps $40. This is an astounding fact 
with immense implications. It is trivially simple 
to start collecting e-books, and then to share 
the results. And it is much less trivially 
important. Sharing is caring. Societies where 
people share, especially ideas, are societies 
that will naturally flourish.

About the author: Henry Warwick is an assistant 
professor at the RTA School of Media at Ryerson 
University, in Toronto, where he teaches media 
and communications theory and audio production. 
An artist and musician, much of his work can be 
accessed for free at kether.com. He likes to 
collect books and music and build libraries.

Colophon: Network Notebooks editors: Geert Lovink 
and Miriam Rasch. Design: Medamo, Rotterdam 
http://www.medamo.nl. ePub developer: André 
Castro. Publisher: Institute of Network Cultures, 
Amsterdam. Supported by: Amsterdam Creative 
Industries Publishing, University of Applied 
Sciences (Hogeschool van Amsterdam) and Stichting 
Democratie en Media.

Henry Warwick, Radical Tactics of the Offline 
Library. Network Notebooks 07, Institute of 
Network Cultures, Amsterdam, 2014. ISBN 

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