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This post originally appeared on the LAIP in December 2014.
by Laura Damon-Moore
Licking County (OH) Library card holders can now check out a guitar from the library! The new guitar collection launched in mid-December, Barbary Sanderson tells us, and there’s already a waitlist forming on the six guitars. Barbary, who is a Teen Services Assistant at the library, is a guitar player herself who proposed guitars as a possible “alternative collection” when the library was looking for ideas earlier this year.
There are six guitars available for checkout to Licking County Library cardholders with accounts in good standing; patrons who are under sixteen need a parent’s permission to check out the instrument. The guitars are available at the main library only at this time. The collection is already quite popular, with a holds list forming and several people have come forward to donate additional instruments to the collection.
Says Barbary, “We have worked with a handful of local businesses in this process as well. All of our guitars were purchased from our local guitar store, Guitar Guys in Heath, Ohio. They secured an educational discount through Fender for us and have been helpful every step of the way. We had our guitar bags embroidered by a local company called Got Gear 4U and received a $250 donation from the First Federal Foundation (local bank) to help with start up costs for the collection.
“People are so excited,” says Barbary, “that is the neatest part.” Patrons who are checking out the instruments range from those who’ve never picked up a guitar in their life, to people who have played but don’t have access to an instrument at home. One gentleman who came in, says Barbary, mentioned that he used to play guitar all the time, but no longer has any instruments. Having access to a guitar through the library means that he’ll be able to play for his family at Christmas time this year.
At this time there are no imminent plans to add different types of instruments to the LCL’s collection, but the library has tentative plans to start a group instruction program, where people can use the library’s instruments or bring in their own to practice playing at the library.
Says Barbary, “It was important to put [the guitars] into people’s hands; it’s something that they wouldn’t otherwise have, a big investment and commitment on the library’s part that’s been totally worth it.”
Librarians and library staff: Interested in viewing LCL’s policy language for their guitar lending program? Download the library’s guitar lending guidelines here.
Handbound books are artworks, and we love learning from bookbinders how they interpret the contents of a book in the cover. Yohana Doudoux’ approach is nuanced and lovely– and her vision for an ideal library is a treat! Enjoy. ~Erinn
Library as Incubator Project (LAIP): Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
Yohana Doudoux (YD): I studied art history at the University of Toulouse, but quickly felt the need to work with my hands. I completed a degree of bookbinding at Tolbiac High School in Paris. Over the last 6 years, I worked in different binderies in the U.K. and France, and had the chance to approach different aspects of the trade: traditional, restoration, and artistic creation. Four months ago, I created my own bindery in Avignon, in the south of France. I do traditional and contemporary bookbinding. My bindery also has a shop corner where I sell notebooks and boxes made in small series.
LAIP: What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?
YD: A lady recently contacted me with the request to make three books in homage of her late husband. After a moving discussion, I provided her with a sketch she really liked. After she pulls all the pictures and documents together, a graphic designer will do the page setting. It will then be printed, and I’ll take the sheets and bind them. Each of her grandchildren will receive a book. This project, for me, represents what bookbinding is about: transmission! It is really exciting to be part of the process of making a complete book.
I have also entered a miniature bookbinding competition organized by The Dutch Handbookbinding Foundation. I love small books, but never had the opportunity to work on such a small scale!
LAIP: How do you see your work interacting with narrative or story? What does working in books allow you to do that you can’t pull off with other media?
YD: I always read the book before designing a binding. The story is a real source of inspiration, as well as the format, the paper, and any illustrations… I aim to put my impressions of the book into the design as an introduction to the content.
There are technical constraints in bookbinding (the book must open properly, be solid, etc), but I think I need those constraints to experience all the freedom and creativity of the process.
LAIP: How have libraries informed your creative work? Tell us about the first library you remember playing a part in your artistic development.
YD: During my studies, I had the opportunity to do a work experience at the bindery of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (site Richelieu) in Paris, which is the French equivalent of the National Library. My training was focused on restoration, which helped me in understanding the structure of the book. (Besides, learning to fix damaged books, means you can fix your own mistakes when necessary!)
I also had access to many technical books. I particularly remember one about medieval endbands, the small embroidery at the head and tail of books. They consolidate the headcaps, and give a discrete but delicate touch to the bindings. On Shakespeare’s Sonnets, I tried to adapt those centenary techniques to a contemporary structure.
LAIP: Can you describe a particular library-incubated project for us?
YD: A few years ago, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France organised a wonderful exhibition about children books. There were many pop-up books and I was fascinated by their diversity and ingeniousness.
At that time I was working on the design of Dictionnaire des idées reçues, by Gustave Flaubert. This satire challenged me, and I decided to use pop-up techniques in order to physically implicate the reader in his discovery of the book.
LAIP: As an artist, what would your ideal library be like? What kinds of stuff would you be able to check out, and what could you do there?
YD: A library filled with books about books! I love strolling into catalogs of books, from bookbinding exhibitions, or from book sales. it is a source of inspiration to see how other bookbinders have done the job, and sometimes I wish I could take the book out of the picture and manipulate it for real.
Ideally, all the books of my library would be bound by hand…
Yohana Doudoux is a great lover of books, and studied bookbinding at Tolbiac high school in Paris. She perfected her technique and skills in various workshops in France and England, and now works in her studio in Avignon, where she offers a tailored binding service. Visit her online on her website, and on Facebook: yohanadoudouxlatelier and Twitter @YohanaDoudoux
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This post originally appeared on the LAIP in December 2015.
Today we welcome Stephanie Schmalz from Kitchener Public Library in Kitchener, Ontario, to the site to share some information about the library’s Artist at Work demonstration program. This program, which has been part of the library’s programming collection for fourteen years, is a great example of how to curate and share local knowledge and expertise with your community. Enjoy! ~Laura
by Stephanie Schmalz
Twice a month, you can stop by a Kitchener library location to view hand-crafted art in the making – by watching local artists while they work.
Stained glass artists, cartoonists, spinners and weavers, potters, porcelain plate painters, digital artists – mediums of all genres, specialized techniques, and simple formats have been demonstrated at Kitchener Public Library for 14 years. Customers are invited to stop by, ask questions about the art medium, learn, and be inspired.
The mandate of Kitchener Public Library’s Artist-at-Work program is to educate the public about a number of art and craft mediums, and to support local artists and hobbyists through drop-by demonstrations in main traffic areas of libraries within the Kitchener Public Library system.
The demonstrations are held on Saturdays from 1 pm – 3 pm. Each artist is scheduled for one demonstration at a branch library and the other at Central Library in the main atrium.
The more obscure the art medium, the better the educational quality.
We’ve hosted everything from new crafts such as advanced Photoshop techniques, to old crafts such as spinning and weaving and everything in between. Artists have brought in spinning wheels, pottery wheels, gem grinding stones, a small printing press, a vintage camera, and any other tool or material essential to their craft.
Almost anything goes; we only ask that their demonstrations not emit toxic or excessive scents or noise.
We provide a six-foot table and chair for the artist, as well as signs explaining the demonstration for approaching customers. They are invited to bring literature or samples of their work. However, they are advised not to set up their table in a way that emphasizes sales, as it may risk preventing passersby from stopping.
The series was first introduced as an extension of the exhibit space in the Art Gallery at Central. At times, gallery exhibitors also double as Artists-at-Work.
Artists are found through networking, internet searches, and cold calls to artists listed on brochures for art tours or festivals.
Artists are not paid. As part of this series, they are invited to promote their business/art medium free of charge. During the demonstration, there is an opportunity to interact with a wide variety of potential customers. Artists are encouraged to hand out business cards. Product sales, however, are prohibited and demonstrators may not ask library customers to participate in a sign-up list. Potential buyers may contact the artist directly, following the library program.
All Artist-at-Work demonstrations are publicized in the library’s In Touch magazine (circulation, 8,000), on our website, in full-colour posters, and through our social media network.
A stone-sculptor for Aboriginal History Day, a Chinese brush-painter for Chinese New Year – these specialized crafts often bring awareness not only about the art form, but also about its historical and cultural importance.
This December, the KW Rug Hooking Guild will demonstrate traditional rug hooking, a Canadian cultural activity since the mid-1800s. They will demonstrate how this pioneer craft is used to crate fibre art in the 21st century.
In October, Craig Musselman, an internationally award-winning graphic designer and artist, demonstrated his elaborate digital photomontages using Photoshop by hooking his laptop into an LCD screen behind the Circulation Desk. Library customers could watch as he manipulated images to form a hyper-realistic digital drawing.
In the past, the library has also offered a fair titled ‘For the Love of Art,’ during which a number of artists were invited to demonstrate throughout the day.
We have found this program to be valuable both as an arts education initiative for our customers, and as a support for local artists.
Learn more about the programs that Kitchener Public Library does to support artists and creatives on their website.
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We know you're looking for the best Black Friday tool deals and Cyber Monday deals on electronics and parts for your next project, so we did the hard work for you and put together a massive cheat sheet.
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Minnesota-based MELSA (Metropolitan Library Service Agency) launched a new program in September that provides equitable access for their users to a wide variety of local arts and cultural programs and events. SmARTpass is an online portal of arts and culture offers, posted by arts organizations ranging from history museums to theatres to dance companies, that library users can reserve for free or at a discount with their library card number.
Sally Lederer, MELSA Communications Manager and lead on the smARTpass project, says that the project is an outgrowth of MELSA’s popular museum pass program (inspired by Chicago Public Library’s pass program), which ran from 2006-2012. What differentiates smARTpass from the museum pass program is the “ability for users to make reservations at any time, including from a mobile device,” rather than needing to show up at the library in person to pick up a museum pass that was only available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The offers, which are pooled from over twenty arts partners, change all the time as partners determine which shows or programs to post to smARTpass. Users can select only one pair of free reservations per partner, per year. Some partners also make discounted reservations available, which is an attractive option for many library users since there is no limit on how many discounted reservations one can make. One of the partners has also included reservations for spots in dance classes, as well as spots in the audience at dance performances. Sally sees interactive or learning opportunities as a potential area for growth with the smARTpass program.
The Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) enjoy a wealth of arts organizations, which certainly helps in coordinating a program like smARTpass, which relies on the generosity of arts partners. Once a critical mass of partners was reached, and offers started going up, it became easier to recruit new partners (Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota is a recent addition). From a technical standpoint, creating an online platform that users from 8 different library systems could access with their library barcodes proved to be one of the biggest challenges. Customer service has also been a big focus as library users navigate the new system and figure out how to make the most of these opportunities. Those who’ve used smARTpass have left very positive feedback:
This is an incredible discovery I just made at the library! I don’t know how you can offer so many great events! But I’m not complaining! 10/10/2016 12:40 PM
This is an amazing program, I remember the museum pass from years ago and the access it allows people to have is outstanding. Would love to see even more theatre for children opportunities. 10/6/2016 8:11 AM
Appreciate the free passes to things I can’t afford.
Great opportunities to see something I wouldn’t normally see. 9/29/2016 12:32 PM
It’s a fantastic service — benefits pass users as well as the organizations offering admission. Win-Win. 9/18/2016 1:53 PM
We look forward to staying in touch and hearing about updates from smARTpass at MELSA! Do you have questions about the program? Contact Sally Lederer at email@example.com with your questions.
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The invention of writing has transformed mankind in ways that we likely can’t fully appreciate. From being able to accurately pass information down from one generation to another, to simply remembering what to get at the grocery store, it plays such an integral role in our lives that we don’t […]
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Sienna Cittadino began her work at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh a couple of years back as a volunteer during Labs programming at CLP – East Liberty. She immediately displayed an easy-going way of interacting with youth and working alongside them as they explored their creative side, which helped her to get the job as Labs Mentor in Fall 2015. Before joining the Library, Sienna worked with our friends at Assemble, a phenomenal neighborhood learning space with a lot of the same ideas about working with youth as the Library. With more than a year of exemplary work in The Labs’, Sienna has parlayed her variety of experiences into a new position – Teen Librarian at CLP – Allegheny (one of the original Labs locations). In today’s post, Sienna writes about her time as Labs Mentor and the importance that our neighborhood Teen Specialists play in connecting youth to our programs and resources.
~Corey Wittig, Digital Learning Lead Librarian, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
by Sienna Cittadino
When I first hopped off the 57 in Hazelwood, I didn’t have anything in my backpack except paper and drawing pencils. I was heading to my first day, and first Labs Workshop, at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Hazelwood. Hazelwood was one of two new weekly locations for Labs programming—the other being CLP – Beechview—and I had to figure out how to re-create the magic that had built up over the past four years at the original three Labs locations.
Hazelwood was much different from these other sites, located in a tightly-knit neighborhood of about 3,000 people who had seen Pittsburgh through the lenses of its biggest booms and busts. There were no Macbooks, no storage spaces or closets full of soldering irons ready for me. So, I sat with a talented and passionate teen named Cerise and drew faces while we talked about her school and her cupcake-selling business. She showed me the logo she’d designed and it was edgy and eye-catching. I felt a little guilty I hadn’t brought any technology or gadgets, but she was excited to find out when I’d be back.
A few weeks later, Cerise was nowhere to be found, and her younger sister, Shaurice, was slowly circling around the teen area. She would look in, walk away, and come back a minute or so later. I’d seen her talking to Cerise, but she had never approached me. Eventually, the Hazelwood Teen Specialist, Terrel, shouted for Shaurice to come over. A few minutes later she sat down and asked me what I was doing. She glanced up at Terrel every now and then to make sure he was still there, and finally settled in to the activity. Over time, Shaurice became an even more consistent program attendee than her sister, and I watched her confidence blossom as she tried things she never thought she could do. She stopped comparing herself to Cerise, and began to identify her own skills and interests.
Every day, the Teen Specialists leveraged their greatest resource: their relationships with the teens they served… I could spend hours brushing up on my knowledge of circuitry, learn to use vinyl cutters, and set up an infinite number of Macbooks with creative program suites, but the real “hook” that brought teens in were the familiar and supportive faces they had learned to trust.
Although I was the Labs Mentor at the Library’s Hazelwood and Beechview locations, the creation of fully-realized Labs sites was a group effort that involved everyone from the clerks to the branch managers. Most integral to the projects were JJ Lendl and Terrel, the Teen Specialists at CLP – Beechview and CLP – Hazelwood, respectively. Every day, they leveraged their greatest resource: their relationships with the teens they served. I could spend hours brushing up on my knowledge of circuitry, learn to use vinyl cutters, and set up an infinite number of Macbooks with creative program suites, but the real “hook” that brought teens in were the familiar and supportive faces they had learned to trust.
Over time, teens at CLP – Hazelwood and CLP – Beechview associated me with creative technology programs, and also began to see me as a trusted adult figure. I offered something “extra,” and it was common for teens to shout, “What are we doing today?” to me as a greeting. Despite the fun and the extras I brought, I was no replacement for JJ or for Terrel. Teens relied on us all. Now, a month or so into my new role as a Teen Librarian, I am once again building relationships with new teens in a new neighborhood. This time it’s the other way around, with myself as an “everyday” presence in the Library. I don’t always bring something fun or new, but when I suggest a program to a teen, they give it a second thought.
My new location, CLP – Allegheny , will welcome a brand new Labs Mentor soon. I’m energized to provide the same bridge to her as JJ and Terrel did for me. I know how overwhelming it can feel to walk into a Labs site for the first time as a Mentor. I also know how quickly those feelings break away and dissolve as soon as you begin to work on a project with a teen. In my new role, I can’t spend quite as much time dreaming up and tweaking programs. But what I can do is ensure that our space is ready to facilitate the relationship between teens and Labs Mentor that makes the program what it is.
Sienna Cittadino is a Teen Librarian at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, a position that allows her to create and support robust, accessible public services that encourage people to trust in their own agency and skills.
Hail, Incubator friends!
It’s Friday again, which means it’s time to review the best of the creative internet and re-visit the library-as-incubator stories we shared on the site this week. If you know of library/arts programs that aim to engage and support marginalized or at-risk communities in the post-election atmosphere, please check out our Call for Submissions for 2017. We want to hear from you.
Sending you good wishes for the weekend!
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After a successful debut last fall, the Flying Robot Film Festival brings a second year of aerial awesomeness to San Francisco. 25 nominees in eight categories show the range of video that can be produced with drone-based camera work. Prizes for winners include a DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter, with winners selected […]
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This post originally appeared on the LAIP in November 2014.
If you’ve heard us speak at a conference or staff training, you know that the LAIP team is big on finding innovative ways to facilitate maker activities and programs even if your library does not have a traditional, permanent “makerspace.” Meridian District Library in Idaho found one way to handle this: a series of “Make It Take It” kits that patrons can check out and experiment with at home! ~ Laura
Library as Incubator Project (LAIP): First of all, please introduce yourself and “your” library, Meridian Library District! What is your position at the library? What is the community served by Meridian Library District like?
Cheri Rendler (CR): My name is Cheri Rendler, and I am Materials Services Manager at Meridian Library District, a public library in Meridian, Idaho.
LAIP: I was so excited to see the LibGuides for the Make It Take Kits at MLD! Can you tell me a bit about how the decision was made to offer kits like these for your patrons?
CR: We had talked about it in our Management Team meetings, after a couple of staff returned from conferences and shared information about similar programs they had seen. Our library was undergoing administrative changes that included the encouragement of innovation and trying out new ideas. We had previously talked about checking out objects to people, and expanded on the idea to have “learning” kits.
LAIP: How did you decide what kinds of material to offer in the Make It Take It Kits?
CR: It was initially viewed as a way to expand the Maker programs we had going on with teens and kids, so we created kits for Arduino, Catapults, Raspberry Pi and Robots kits. We had received a grant for Maker materials, and wanted to offer the resources outside the library and encourage the development of technological skills. We added in non-tech options that we felt would be of interest to patrons (and we also surveyed staff to get suggestions).
“The mission of the Meridian Library District is to provide a safe and inviting place where residents can interact with each other; find information about their community and its offerings; investigate a wide range of topics pertaining to their work, school and personal lives; and develop a love of reading and learning that will continue throughout their lives.”
CR: Yes, we are adding a 3D Printing kit (they design own object, get it printed at library), Makey Makey kit, Rainbow Loom kit (patron request), fitness kits of various types (variety of small weights, bands, calipers, books, DVDs) and bicycle maintenance/ repair kits.