Books as Art

There’s nothing more beautiful than books. Of course, I’m a librarian–so that is expected. But I love seeing how books can be used in non-traditional ways for art, sculpture, and other projects.

Kristi Edminster, an art student who is one of our library’s student workers, created this piece of book art, entitled “Booklovers’ Vows” for the library’s Miller Reading Room. The art piece honors the room’s donors and their love of books and reading. It reads:

Norman and Shirlyn Miller
spent 65 years
loving each other,
loving Green Bay

and loving nothing more
than sitting in a comfortable chair
in a quiet room and reading.

This room
reflects their love
and is gift from them
to the students of UWGB.

So, books just don’t belong in a library’s collection. They can be used as art, as sculpture–to create a very intense visual response as to what a library is all about. Here are a few of my other “favorites”–some sleek, some kitschy:

Reference desk of recycled books – not just art, but functional, too.

Library Christmas tree made of books – no needles!

Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library parking garage – ok, no real books–but book inspired. Dresses up a structure that is very utilitarian.

Isaac Salazar’s book art – amazing!

The Bittersweet Art of Cutting Up Books – And yes, some don’t like to see the cutting up of any books, but look at all of the creativity that comes from it.

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Library Field Trips

Who says adults can’t take field trips?!

Yesterday, my librarian colleagues here at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay visited St. Norbert College, the private institution in our area, to meet with their librarians. The library directors at UW-Green Bay and St. Norbert thought it would be a great way to collaborate, network, and exchange ideas. Plus, it beats the price of attending conferences!

So, if you’re looking for an easy and cheap alternative to networking: consider your colleagues at a library across town, or somewhere nearby! They need not be similar institutions. Ours is a public regional university with 6,000 students that was founded in the 1960s; theirs is a private Catholic college of 2,100 students founded in the late 1800s.

Meeting with the staff of another library is a great venue for sharing ideas, brainstorming, developing best practices, and getting a “view” that comes from outside your own library. We had a great discussion on library outreach, marketing, and social media activities. We’ll plan on getting together at least a couple of times of year.

One of the highlights during our visit was a tour the new St. Norbert library (opened in 2009). As a librarian, I don’t think I ever turned down a tour of a library! Here are some photos: