The Ex Libris exhibition and publication celebrate three specialist University of Auckland libraries designed as purpose-built learning environments to support education and scholarship in the creative arts.
In June 2018 the University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor announced that these libraries would close and their collections would be consolidated within the General Library on Alfred Street. In this process, 45 full-time library staff will lose their jobs. The Elam School of Fine Arts, The School of Architecture & Planning and the School of Music & Dance will lose architecturally-designed libraries adjacent to their teaching spaces.
Photographer, Samuel Hartnett was approached to make a record of the three libraries. Ex Libris: Regarding Three Libraries, the publication that accompanies his exhibition reflects these places of "eureka discoveries and infinite possibilities," including a history of each library, record of the specialist librarians who have tended them, and the action by current students in response to the imminent loss of these spaces.
The contributors are Sait Akkirman, Rachel Ashby, Kathryn Aucamp, Sebastian Clarke, Warren Drake, Elena Lochore-Ward, Anna Miles, Victoria Passau, Nova Paul, Tim Sumner, Lucy Treep, Brian Flaherty, Raukura Turei, Stephen Turner, Linda Tyler and Jane Wild.