THE NEW exhibition at Glasgow's CCA is The House that Heals the Soul. According to its curator, Ainslie Roddick, the title is a rearrangement of the phrase "the house of healing for the soul" a motto inscribed into portals of the earliest authenticated library, which existed during the reign of one of the most famous Pharaohs, Ramses II (1213-1279 BC).

He was the one who is said to have presided over the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. For anyone who loves words – and libraries – it's an elegant phrase. Since time immemorial, libraries have provided shelter from the storms of every day life. They are traditionally egalitarian social spaces where everyone and anyone can go to look for answers to life's big questions by pulling out a book and reading.

But now that the world has gone digital, the very existence of libraries have been called into question. This potential loss of libraries and books is a subject which many artists and writers have turned to in recent years. Perhaps too late, many of us are realising that there is no substitute for holding an actual book in your hand in a place filled with books.

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From next Saturday (July 22), CCA’s exhibition spaces will be opened up to house a selection of library and self-publishing resources alongside artworks that look at various histories of – and approaches towards – the protection and presentation of libraries’ collections, infrastructures and users.

"It's all tied into a wider programme of public engagement," Roddick explains. "Galleries and libraries are similar in that they are public spaces. People shouldn't feel they can't come in. Every summer, we want to open up the CCA main exhibition rooms as spaces for meeting and exchange, providing the resources and facilities for community-led activities.

"Nick Thurston is known as an artist who deals with the conceptual aspect of libraries and the written word. He approached the CCA about exhibiting and it tied in with the thinking of the CCA's Public Engagement Curator, Viviana Checchia, who was looking to initiate a series of summer exhibitions which opened the spaces up and encouraged the public to come in."

The House that Heals the Soul will include artworks which explore the loss of libraries and books, and question how controlling access to both can be a political act.

"People can treat it as a resource," says Roddick. "We don't have the capacity to lend books but people can use the space for meetings. We have space for projections and presentations as well as reading."

Alongside typical and "atypical" library resources, the exhibition will also include a series of artworks, such as Temporary Services' "Booklet Cloud", examining readers’ relationships to publications, alternative politics of collecting publications, and technologies for disseminating and archiving them. Please note, it is a physical cloud – of books – dangling celestially from the ceiling

Excitingly for bookworms and would-be authors alike, there will even be the chance to make your own book – for free – in the CCA's new Publication Studio. Together with partners, My Bookcase, Good Press Gallery, A Feral Studio and Joanna Peace, CCA will run a series of workshops and inductions, allowing any member of the public to design, print and bind their own book edition.

So if you have a novel, a memoir or a book of poetry tucked away in a bottom drawer, now is the time to turn it into a one-off art work.

Writer and editor, Nick Thurston, who is based at the University of Leeds, will present Drag-Nets, an "adjusted" re-print of James Joyce's groundbreaking novel, Ulysses. First published in the UK and the US in instalments after World War One, it was banned on the grounds of obscenity in the UK until the 1930s.

Thurston's installation includes a stack of free-to-take dust jackets for censored books, and a single copy of Ulysses with the title, author and dates matching the Drag-Nets cover. The dust jackets can be taken and creased around any book a visitor wishes to secretly distribute.

The book will be legally registered and any time the cover jacket is seen or the barcode scanned it will identify the volume it conceals as Drag-Nets by Arthur West.

Digital sharing platforms will also have a presence in the space, and there will be a series of talks throughout the show exploring the ever-changing relationships with public sites for knowledge development and exchange. As well as giving access to CCA’s spaces for visitors to read, view and produce, The House that Heals the Soul will examine the importance of the librarian as artist and curator, as well as point-of-contact with the public.

As I leave the CCA, Roddick gives me a book of essays called The Sky is Falling which was produced recently using the CCA's industrial perfect binder. The binder will be pressed into service during The House that Heals the Soul.

"Hopefully there will be a lot more books in the world after this exhibition," she says. "We now have a paper creaser which will make the books even more beautiful."

True balm, if ever it was needed, for the book-lover's soul.

The House that Heals the Soul, Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Glasgow from July 22 – September 3

www.cca-glasgow.com