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Hacking the Library

sources to support the Fullbright scholars summer ESL workshop

Hacking the library exhibit

hacking the library

Hacking the Library: An Art in the Libraries Exhibition

Debuting at WVU Downtown Library August 2023 with companion online

The hacker ethos in the positive sense is about the ability to deconstruct and reconstruct information systems. Hacking starts with reconceptualizing libraries. Libraries are now beyond the book. As libraries evolve into a new sort of space --still a space for research, learning and study-- but also for community engagement and collaboration, library exhibits present a unique opportunity for both collaborating exhibitors and library users. Artists engage with libraries creatively through artist residencies, installations, using discarded library materials in their work, collaborative workshops, digital collections remixing, performances and more. Hacking the Library will present artwork that highlights the intersecting values that shape our libraries through an artistic lens, reflecting on challenges and definitions of libraries past and as we move into the future.

the assignment

Students will


  • use the internet and digital archives of the West Virginia & Regional History Center


  • 20 key moments in Library history
    • examples
      • first American library that opened
      • people of color were allowed into white libraries
      • when/where the first WVU Library was open