Living Library for Nature Writing

Kempten municipal library – funded by the hochdrei fund

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Project description

Libraries are often considered static places devoted to lending media. The Kempten municipal library launched this project in cooperation with two partner libraries in Sonthofen and Wertach to counteract this image. In the spirit of a “living library”, the three institutions set out to grant residents an active role in creating new knowledge in order to strengthen cross-generational dialogue on important environmental, social and cultural issues in an aesthetic and interdisciplinary manner.

The project tied into the tradition of nature writing, a literary genre known for its nature descriptions combined with philosophical and personal observations of nature – a tradition that dates back to the emergence of natural scientific studies of the 18th century. With visual, auditory, digital, social and kinaesthetic impulses, the libraries attempted to inspire their visitors to perceive their environment anew. To this end, the project organisers created a promotion programme called “Green Cultural Educators”. Its purpose was to create a network of library staff, local nature writers and representatives from regional cultural and educational institutions who integrated nature writing into a participation-oriented programme consisting of literary salons, reading and writing camps and interactive light performances in public space, as well as create a library of “nature writing tools” for schools and libraries.

Project title: Living Library for Nature Writing. Green Cultural Educators

Partners: Kulturamt Kempten, Sonthofen and Markt Wertach, Deutsche Selbald Gesellschaft


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hochdrei – Changing City Libraries

With its programme "hochdrei – Changing City Libraries" the Federal Cultural Foundation aims to strengthen city libraries as cooperative and participatory cultural locations.


Kempten municipal library

Andrea Graf
Director municipal library
Orangerieweg 22
87439 Kempten
Website of the municipal library Kempten (external link, opens in a new window)

Artistic Project management

Susa Pop and Michaela Vieser, Public Art Lab Berlin