Serendipity Tours With Stephann Makri and #citylis

Fun palaces logo

This post was written by Dr Matt Finch, with edits by Dr Ernesto Priego.

This activity is free.

As the 2015 Fun Palaces launch on Saturday 3rd October 2015 approaches, Lambeth Libraries are gearing up for their borough-wide, simultaneous 11-venue celebration of arts and sciences.

Lambeth Libraries and #citylis are pleased to team up for this fun, creative experiment in outreach – a new way for a university to speak to communities, for a public library to connect its local neighbourhood with top-flight research, and most importantly of all, a chance for one and all to create something awesome, special, and unique.

As part of this weekend’s Fun Palaces celebration, Dr. Stephann Makri and #citylis student Shermaine Waugh will be running “serendipity tours” of Clapham Library from 2-3pm and 3-4pm this Saturday.

serendipity word cloud

Stephann is a Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction at City University London, team-member of #citylis and self-proclaimed ‘Prince of Serendip.’ His research on the nature of serendipity and how we can design to create opportunities for it has been published in leading academic journals and has also featured widely in the media, including on the BBC, in The Sunday Times and in Reader’s Digest.

On Saturday 3rd October, Stephann will invite Fun Palaceers to step out of their comfort zones, break with old habits, and find new ways to stumble on unexpected and rewarding information within the library. After an introduction to techniques of serendipitous browsing and creative exploration of information, Stephann will send you out into Clapham’s beautiful spiral library to forage for wonder amid the shelves.

There will also be opportunities to learn about, and even participate in, Stephann’s research.

For more information about Stephann’s work, visit He’s also on Twitter @stephannmakri. Shermaine is on Twitter @ok_shermaine.

And you can find Clapham Library’s Fun Palace at the Fun Palaces homepage. Follow Lambeth Libraries Fun Palaces @LamLibsFP.

This blog was originally published, in slightly different form, on Matt Finch’s blog, here.

This activity is an example of how City University London maximises on our global location and distinctive links with London and the City of London, developing opportunities for our students to develop a breadth of experience as preparation for life and work, fostering effective and innovative collaborations with local communities and the public and private sectors, etc.

Read about the #citylis zinemaking Clapham Library Fun Palace here.

Interested in these topics? Find out more about studying Library and Information Science at City University London here.

About Ernesto Priego

A lecturer at City, University of London. My research interests include digital humanities, library and information science, human computer interaction design, comics scholarship, scholarly communications, open access, open data and open educational resources.
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