Turning Geelong into the world’s longest book

Zoey and Hanna with their grandparents Jillian and Peter Bolger, and artist Fern Smith at the Longest Book in the World Geelong West workshop. (Ivan Kemp) 398388_01

A Portarlington artist is mapping the community’s favourite Geelong and regional spots in an attempt to make the Longest Book in the World.

Fern Smith started hosting free creative workshops on April 2 at Chilwell Library, with more workshops taking place at varying Geelong Regional Libraries across the year.

Ms Smith said she was inspired by the Guinness Book of Records project, which saw Yang Shuanming complete an 814.26-metre-long concertina book of Taiyuan, Shanxi, China.

“All of Geelong will have participated by the time we’re finished… and it’s a focus on your favourite place or street,” she said.

“We’re at 101 metres as of today, and I’m going through the library system, where you capture a whole diversity of people that you wouldn’t normally get.

“You get a good diverse age group as well, and everyone mixes in together, which is really lovely. I think the youngest is about two years old and the oldest is about 85.”

Ms Smith said she thanked Geelong Regional Libraries and Geelong Writers for supporting the project and looked forward to the book’s completion.

“The librarians are very welcoming because they love that there’s someone that wants to engage in a book making process, because it is a book,” she said.

“Once someone has finished writing, drawing or collaging their favourite place, they are now a published author or illustrator, as everyone’s name goes in the back of the book as a contributor.”

Visit events.grlc.vic.gov.au/events to register for Ms Smith’s Longest Book in the World creative workshops.