Merri-bek City Council and Schoolhouse Studios have invited 4 artist collectives to explore what the future of libraries could be in the context of imagining the possibilities for a renewed Coburg Library.

Sharing texts from different cultures and languages, self-published treasures, archives lost and found, and relics and artefacts from this world and the next, they have provided a window to a new world.

Set in the beautiful old Coburg Station Building, peek in the window or join us to journey through the future of archives.

  • The old Coburg Station building is accessible via a ramp as well as stairs.
  • The front doors are automatic and when open are at least 2 metres wide.
  • The floor is flat and suitable for most wheelchairs and other mobility aids. There are no internal stairs.
  • Assistance animals are welcome (drinking water provided on request).
  • The bathroom is located within the main space and is wheelchair accessible.


Pagbasa Archive x Resistance

Saluhan Collective

22 November- 24 November

A bookshelf with the books displayed face out. An arm reaches for one of the books titled

"The future of libraries is kinship"

Pagbasa Archive is an experimental reading room based in Naarm/Melbourne comprised of contemporary Filipino art, design, text, sound, ephemera, performance documentation and film. Pagbasa Archive x Resistance is a curated selection of works from Pagbasa Archive. This selection draws attention to the creative ways that artists have mobilised in the fight against oppression in the Philippines and stands in solidarity with freedom movements across the world.

Saluhan was created to establish a network between creatives in Australia and the Philippines and has since expanded to include collaborative projects that combine arts and community development. Their practice is underpinned by notions of kinship, reciprocity, and the desire to create spaces that interweave artistry and community.

Relics from another Realm

The Parallel Effect 29 November- 1 December

29 November1 December

A photograph of 2 people in profile looking towards a red, diamond shaped light. The person to the left is wearing a gas mask, the person to the right is wearing a red scarf. The red light is the only light source and the photo is dark and moody.

"The future of libraries is knowledge shared between dimensions"

Discover a collection of curiosities and artefacts: some shared across dimensions, others marking alternatively climatic, political, institutional, technological, natural and social evolutions. Engage with these pivotal moments from our world and beyond and renew your thinking about what's possible.

The Parallel Effect is an ever-growing collective of interdisciplinary thinkers, artists and practitioners who believe in the power of imaginative speculation as a tool to articulate innovative solutions and transformative ideas beyond the constraints of our present circumstances. Using the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics as the basis for their creative interventions, The Parallel Effect reimagines multiple plausible alternatives to the "present" we're living, paving the way for fairer, more sustainable futures. Committed to reaching across borders (disciplinary, practice, modal and geographical) their work engages in holistic and intersectional conversations that empower and spark debate on local and global issues of our times.

Silent Army Reading Room

Silent Army Archive

6 December–8 December

Various ephemera like a tote bag, brochures, postcards and other printed works is layed out like a collage on a black surface

"The future of libraries is small press publishing"

Silent Army Archive is about archiving the small press artist publications collected by Michael Fikaris, local artist and small press publisher. With roughly 2000 items spread through 30 boxes, the purpose of the project is to share local history, support research and encourage the artistic pursuit as a fundamental human need. The organised collection currently being archived with Gwen G and Josh VE is made up of printed works from the southern hemisphere ranging between the years 1982-present.

Michael Fikaris is an award-winning editor, publisher and community arts practitioner, who founded Silent Army Projects in 2007. Silent Army has worked with NGA, NGV studios and various book fairs, libraries and community focused events both locally and internationally.

The Great Book Return

Anna Emina and Celine Saoud

13 December–15 December2 women, Anna and Celine, sit side by side on chairs in front of painted artworks hung on the wall. One woman wears a pale blue hijab and the other woman wears a bright green sweater.

"The future of libraries is a return to land through books, food and culture."

Anna Emina and Celine Saoud present ‘The Great Book Return’. A living and growing archive of Palestinian books, artworks and artefacts drawing inspiration from a 2012 documentary titled ‘The Great Book Robbery’. The last program in our series symbolises the private art collections and libraries that have been lost as a result of war and brings awareness to the 70,000 Palestinian books that were looted during the 1948 Nakba. 6,000 of these books still remain in the National Library of Israel, marked ‘AP’ for ‘Abandoned Property’, awaiting return to their Palestinian owners. The return date is unknown.

Anna Emina is an educator, curator and writer based in Naarm. Having completed a thesis on diversity in the arts titled: (Re)claiming the Narrative: Amplifying the Voices of Australian Muslim Artists, Anna has centred her practice around collaboration and seeks to create accessible opportunities for people of colour to connect with contemporary art in Australia.

Celine Saoud is a second-generation Lebanese Australian writer, arts worker and emerging curator based in Naarm. Her practice is centred around resituating cultural and familial traditions within a modern framework, particularly through a feminist lens.