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The Creative Questionnaire 3: Miss Emily Sharp

Emily Sharp
 
Young local resident Emily Sharp is a presenter for the online video magazine The Indie Book Show who recently organised a benefit event for the Kensal Rise Library. We talked to her about the future of libraries,  her blog, the area and the Book show. 
 
SM (Source Mag) - You are a presenter for the Indie Book Show... what is it about?
Emily Sharp - The show is an online web series that takes independently published books and their authors to the public. We make the show energetic, thought provoking and entertaining whilst promoting books through an urban window. 
 
SM - What do you enjoy most about it?
Emily Sharp -  As an independent production we’re very lucky to have as many talented and lovely people working on the show as we do. For me, the best part has to be the positive influence we can have on anything we choose. As an example, we recently dedicated a show to the Save Kensal Rise Library Campaign and we’re about to launch our first charitable Young Person’s Creative Writing Competition across 40 schools in Sierra Leone. To get the chance to do all this and try to help as many people as possible is one of the nicest jobs anyone can do and I feel immensely lucky. 
 
 
SM - The Indie Book Show is a reflection of how the Internet has changed our habits regarding newspapers and television... has the same happened to books? Are we to expect a decline in book printing?
Emily Sharp -  Fortunately, as someone who loves a good paperback, I think the change the Internet has/will have on the publishing industry won’t be as great as it’s had elsewhere: eBooks have become incredibly popular as have blogs and online comics, but I think the internet has merely provided an additional platform for people’s work to thrive. I personally love the importance it places on the power and opinion of the independent masses, but I will also always love my penguin classics. 
 
SM - What effect/impact has the proliferation of devices such as iPads had on book reading?
Emily Sharp -  It’s made books all the more accessible. As well now being able to easily read on the beach, we can now adjust font sizes to cater to eyesight, look up words in the dictionary as we read and purchase classic books for free. Additionally eReaders are potentially a perfect solution for providing resources in schools with their long battery lives and free downloads: for example, as part of our Young Person’s Creative Writing Competition we’re hoping to provide schools in Sierra Leone with eReaders the pupils can share. All in all I think technology has only enhanced our ability to consume content. 
 
SM - What motivated you to organise a fund raising event for the Kensal Rise Library? How did it go?
Emily Sharp - I’ve lived in the area all my life and The Indie Book Show’s main aim is to encourage reading amongst as many people as possible, particularly through independent organisations such as the Library Campaign. The cause was also particularly interesting because of its connection to All Souls College, Oxford; as an educational establishment you’d assume they’d support Kensal Rise Library’s campaign. The event went very well and the campaign is still going strong, hopefully thanks to our help. 
 
Kensal Rise Library - Picture courtesy of The Indie Book Show
SM - Are the library closures part of a wider change taking place in the way we live?
Emily Sharp - Library closures don’t bode well for the Arts generally, but local governments are hard pushed to find funding for even the most important things such as health care and education. There are certainly some boroughs in London that are more stretched to find funding to cover their population density than others, which is something I think needs seeing to. However it’s important that in the mean time we do as much as we can to support one another as communities. 
 © Lydia Evans, all rights reserved — with Emily Sharp at Paradise by way of Kensal Green.
 SM - How relevant is Kensal Rise Library? Indeed are local libraries relevant at all these days?
Emily Sharp -  Ironically it’s often the communities who most need certain facilities that have to go without them. Kensal Rise Library is not only historically important but it’s also unique in its location and disabled access. As to whether libraries are relevant, thanks to the internet reading and books have become a given for many, however there are still plenty of people who need easy access to books and computers and more importantly a quiet and safe place to work- particularly children. 
 
SM - Do libraries need to change their approach? Do they need to find new ways to captivate people and encourage reading habits? In your view, is there anything that could be improved?
Emily Sharp - I think libraries used to be places where people simply accessed information, now we all use Google or Wikipedia, so yes, they definitely need to change. Libraries could be brilliantly used to bring communities together through course and classes, whilst becoming quiet havens for students during exam periods. If they more catered to specific people needs they’d be even better than they are now. 
 
SM - You write a blog... what brought it about? How do you choose who to write about?
Emily Sharp - I’ve grown up listening to a lot of music being made and one day I just felt like writing about it. As a child I used to be played endless versions of the same song with minute differences and asked which I preferred, so over the years I’ve developed a fair few opinions. It started off as a blog for myself, where I wrote about songs friends had written and played me and then it just continued. Et Toi? (the name of the blog) just reached a quarter of a million views the other day, which was really lovely! I like to describe it as A&R that reports to the listeners before the labels. 
 Emily Sharp
SM - Any local musicians/bands we should watch out for?
Emily Sharp - Bullies are a great soft-melancholic, indie band who live locally and have been supporting Edwyn Collins on tour. The BlackWhite are a tinkly-folky rock lot from West London who are doing really well for themselves. Kármán Line are making really beautiful techno wave across West London.  And there are also some brilliant young musicians coming out of The Rhythm Studio:  the Groves are great and will be live at Queens Park Day, whilst Push Pedal have got a spot on stage at this years Camp Bestival. 
 
SM - You’ve lived in the area for many years now... is there something you notice more in the way the area’s changed?
Emily Sharp - There are a lot more delis! The area would be unrecognisable to someone who lived here 20 years ago if they hadn’t witnessed the change, but I think it’s improved mostly for the better. The nicest thing is that it has much more of a family/community feel than it ever did. 
 
SM - What local venues do you go to for live music and dj's?
Emily Sharp - DJ’s would be The Paradise, Love & Liquor’s good too but I loved the Westbury too much to not miss it. For live bands I’d say the The Shop’s pretty good on a Wednesday, the Good Ship’s good on a Thursday and if you’re willing to venture down the road a bit then Notting Hill Arts Club always has something going on. 
 
SM -  What do you like about living in the area? Is there anything that could improve it significantly?
Emily Sharp - The area itself is lovely but I touched on what I think is one of the main problem’s earlier and that is that some boroughs are more stretched to find funding to cover their population density than others; as a result I think there can be a huge disparity in the standard of health care and education you get merely by living streets apart. However, as a community we are great.
 
 
 
Twitter:  @indiebookshow        @ettoimusic       @esdollar
 
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