Meet Your New Best Friend

The Reading Room Offers Students a Place to Read, Relax and Gaze

Graphic Amy Ball

If you are new to Concordia’s Fine Arts program or have been living under a rock during your time in the program, the EV building has a little oasis for you: the Concordia Fine Arts Reading Room.

“The Reading Room, along with Café-X, is one of the few places in the EV building where Fine Arts students can come to relax, study and socialize in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere,” said Claire Forsythe, a student and employee of the Reading Room.

The student-run room has existed in some form or another since 1982. The space carries books and periodicals on art history, philosophy, contemporary art and design, to name a few.

“While there is some overlap between ours and the main libraries’ collections, the Reading Room is the only place on campus exclusively dedicated to maintaining an up-to-date contemporary art book collection, including rare and hard to find artist books, ‘zines and periodicals,” explained Forsythe.

“At the moment, our primary focus is in expanding our collection of contemporary art books to reflect the diversity of practices and dialogues that are going on in the art world now,” she said.

“We are always updating the collection and are always eager to hear student suggestions for new titles or subjects.”

The Reading Room also carries the Student Work Archive, a database of thousands of images and documents of Concordia Fine Arts student work dating back to the mid-90s.

Another feature of the Reading Room is their four open-access computers with Internet connections, a wide range of production software and cheap printing and scanning capabilities.

“The Reading Room is funded by a fee levy on every Fine Arts credit. This means everyone taking courses in Fine Arts is entitled to use our space and is highly encouraged to do so,” Forsythe said.

The Reading Room lends books for 24 hours. “We currently do not have a late fee system in place because we haven’t found it to be necessary,” she said. “Hopefully we can keep it that way.”

“We work closely with [the Fine Arts Student Alliance] and other student organizations to coordinate Fine Arts events and programming throughout the year,” said Forsythe. “Recently we have organized workshops, film screenings, and artist’s talks.”

“One of the Reading Room’s major endeavours has been the creation of a six month artist residency, where two undergraduate students receive funding and [full] access to their resources,” explained Forsythe.

To take advantage of the room’s resources, visit the space on the second floor of the EV building.

The Reading Room is located in the EV building (1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.). It is open Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 04, published September 7, 2010.