On this day before the Celtic feast of Samhain leading us into All Soul’s Day, I feel a renewed sense of life and energy that I’ve longed for in the twenty months since I closed the Reading Room to the public on February 29, 2020. During that time, I had to reconsider what its purpose is and how I can reopen safely while serving friends and colleagues through the sharing of books. Anyone who has visited No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works in person knows what a cozy and intimate space it is. It’s just the right size for three or four people to sit, read and visit and has hosted many more for openings and readings. But it can no longer serve as a gathering space for larger groups, workshops, openings, screenings or readings as it once did.
We were very concerned about how to resume programming and safely invite people in, even if it’s with just a few folks together. So as the pandemic dragged on in wave after wave despite the promise of a vaccine and a “hot vax summer,” my husband and I decided to make better use of the long stretch of crumbling asphalt driveway adjoining our building to create a larger, safer space where gatherings of this kind can be held. We spent much of 2020 and the first half of 2021 planning, designing and completing the addition we call No.3 Annex.
This flexible space was designed with a high quality filtered HVAC system with fresh air intake and circulation and is spacious enough that four to six people can be in the annex at a proper social distance. The front of the addition has bi-fold doors that open out into a courtyard space with planters and benches for larger gatherings in warmer weather. There is also a large landscaped patio with trees and ample seating in the back. We will resume our larger gatherings and workshops beginning in Spring, 2022 weather permitting.
Meanwhile, the pandemic also brought a need to update access to No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works for individuals and small groups. Visitors can now request an appointment through the contact page for up to two people for archives research, reading, writing, or consultation, or by sending an email with a suggested time, your area of interest and any questions to: email@example.com. A week’s notice is preferred, but shorter notice may be possible, so just reach out. Please contact me if you’d like to be placed on my email list for updates on upcoming news and events. I only communicate through this email address and this website, so please don’t use social media to reach me, I no longer monitor those accounts.
And, beginning Monday, January 10th, 2022 from 7 – 9 pm, I will host the first weekly Evening Read. Visitors can reserve a space for an evening of quiet reading for the first hour and conversation for the second. Guests are invited to BYOB- bring your own book and beverage, or browse the available materials on the Reserve Shelves selected from the reading room’s archive collection of fine press books, photo books, poetry, journals and works on paper. During the second hour of conversation, teas and water will be available for those who prefer an NA beverage.
The Evening Read is reserved on a first come, first served basis with a total of four guests permitted per session. There is no cost, but once reserved, please honor this commitment, or give at least 24 hours’ notice if you can’t attend so those on the waiting list may participate. Please email me to receive announcements of future dates.
The last twenty months have been strange and challenging for us all in many ways. I used this time, along with project managing the addition of the annex, to continue to acquire and read new poetry and photobooks, to research, write and photo edit longstanding personal projects and participated in Extraction: On the Edge of the Abyss by installing window exhibits of work by various artists, which are now complete. Current programs will focus on individual and small group reading, research, writing and conversation until spring, when programs developed throughout the winter will be announced. I will continue to send updates through my email list and will begin a series of book reports later this week, featuring new acquisitions as well as presenting little known but meaningful book projects from the archive’s collection. I can’t wait to welcome you back, please reach out when the time is right. And may the good spirits of this season and ancestors watch over you and keep you safe.
COVID-19 Policy: The following measures will be in place for visitor’s safety: guests must be completely vaccinated and show proof of vaccination at the first visit; not have been recently exposed to Covid-19 and wear a medical grade KN-95 mask regardless of vaccine status. Masks may only be removed for drinking while maintaining a safe social distance. If you’re not feeling well, please stay home. If you’re at an increased risk of severe illness, you should consider waiting until warmer weather for outdoor sitting. No.3 Reading Room cannot guarantee that visitors will not be exposed to Covid-19 during your visit, so attendance is at your own risk.