Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Showing Some Love for Libraries!

Oh my gosh - I just got word that I am the featured artist on the Library as Incubator Project Web site today!  I'm so excited!  So, to comemmorate this occasion, I am re-running my post about my adoration for all things library.  :D  Show your library some love today!  :D

I LOVE the library.  I always have.  The library is one of the earliest places I remember going with my parents (along with the grocery store and the dentist).  Before our Ashwaubenon branch was built in 1976, we'd have to go to the downtown Green Bay branch - a grand outing.

As a little kid, the Central Library seemed colossal.  It is a two story library that spans a city block; it may have been remodeled since then, but in the Seventies the circulation desk was right up front and seemed really long.  And because we're talking nearly 40 years ago (gulp), all of the library accoutrements that I love were still in use (more on those later).

I grew up amongst books and the library.  When the Ashwaubenon branch opened, we were there all the time and my mom even volunteered there during the summer months.  They had fantastic programs for kids - they'd show movies, Miss Olson would read to us (I distinctly remember listening to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and wanting to try Turkish Delight), and there would always be arts and crafts - my favorite.

I was very fortunate that I could read at an early age, so every aspect of the library was wide open to me.  I had no problem using the card catalog (who didn't love those GORGEOUS wooden cabinets that housed those thousands of little cards?!) and the Dewey Decimal System made sense to me (even as a kid I hung out in the non-fiction section).

But the best part was the checkout desk.  I LOVED watching the librarians go through the procedure - take the card out of the pocket, date-stamp it, file it, date-stamp the pocket, tuck the reminder slip with the due date in the book; repeat for each book.  To me, this all seemed quite glamorous.

It will probably come as no surprise to you, then, to discover that I have a growing collection of library items and love using them in my work.  From the aformentioned card catalog cards (that are abundant now that everything's digital) to library slips and pockets (sometimes found in discarded library books), to old library cards - this ephemera is cool and vintage and nostalgic (in other words, it's firing on all cylinders for me).  And of course, it's a lot of fun to use in my artwork!  :D

"To Read Books" ATC

"Our City Library", currently on display at the Fond du Lac
Public Library for the "Cover to Cover" exhibit

And speaking of libraries, I have to give a shout-out to my three favorite libraries and librarians:  Steev Baker of the Kewaskum Public Library; Gary Warren Niebuhr of the Greendale Public Library; and last but not least, Ken Hall of our Fond du Lac Public Library.  These wonderful libraries are MAJOR assets to the towns and cities which house them and they are SO vital to the well-being of the communities they serve.  If you haven't gone in a while, do yourself a favor and VISIT YOUR LIBRARY.  You'll wonder why you hadn't sooner.

Okay, I lied - THIS is the final plug!  :D  If you're in the Fond du Lac area, check out the Langdon Divers Community Gallery in our fabulous library - Fond du Lac Visual Arts is currently running the "Cover to Cover" exhibit, which is all book arts (how appropriate, right?).  We are very proud of this show, which was beautifully curated by my friend and colleague Susan Fiebig.  The reception for this show is this Thursday from 5-7 (with refreshments!).  Hope to see you locals there!  :D


  1. I want more info on the "Cover to Cover" show. This is something our library would love to do too! Can you share?

  2. Thanks Steev! :D

    Laura - My artists' co-op, Fond du Lac Visual Arts, decided to do a book arts exhibit in conjunction with National Library Week (but it runs the whole month). We got some AMAZING submissions! If you "like" the Fond du Lac Public Library's Facebook page, you can see the photo album with some of the books and art and 3-D works.

  3. Day late here...but have always LOVED my local libraries. So sad that many are being closed because of lack of funding. :( Even though so much information is availabe over the internet, there is nothing like spending hours perusing the shelves at the can't get that feeling from a computer!!