Silence in the Library


Project Info


  • Northumberland Libraries
  • Hexham Book Festival
  • X Site Architects

The pod project for Northumberland Libraries was the outcome of a successful application to the Arts Council for funding to support a project that would tour libraries across the country.

The ‘Silence in the Library’ project was to reach out to new library users, and offer a dedicated listening space in which they can access audio books – showcasing part of the libraries’ growing digital offer.

The pod, which toured eight libraries across Northumberland, acted as a story-time listening pod for younger children, and equally a quiet space for adults – a small comfortable space to transport users away from the bustle of a modern library environment.

The pod was demountable so that it could be taken apart and transported between libraries and offer a range of listening options to the users within the pod – all while being approachable and fun.

The pod incorporated a sound barrier to any noise going on in the libraries, which made it particularly good for people with dementia or who were on the autistic spectrum or had other sensory conditions.

X Site Architects worked with a small community workshop in Gateshead to deliver the pod, who were actively engaged throughout the build process.

SIL was funded by the Arts Council England and Northumberland Libraries

The Artist

X Site Architects is an architectural practice based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Over the past 18 years it has always sought to engage with project proposals that interface architecture with other creative and cultural disciplines, art, photography and graphic design in particular.