Dixie Darr

In creativity, Learning on April 26, 2007 at 9:38 am

The Library: Denver’s Best Resource

“The greatest university of all is a collection of books.”

Thomas Carlyle

Maybe you think libraries are just for checking out books. If you’ve been inside a library in the past 5-10 years, you know that you can also check out movies and music CDs. One of our local libraries offers a toy library and many branches host children’s story times, classes in English as a Second Language and computer literacy.

You may have visited the genealogy department of the library to research the history of your family or your house. Lately, my visits to the downtown library have been to attend free classes where I learn how to make my own books. I’ve taken classes about three different books styles, plus one on making altered books, one on using scrapbook techniques and decoupage to personalize a composition book and one on book repair. These classes and more are offered through the Denver Public Library’s Fresh City Life program. You can sign up for the online newsletter to keep you updated on all events at the DPL website: www.denverlibrary.org.

Last night, I took a library class on using collage techniques to make a picture frame out of a discarded book. Instructor Judith Cassel-Mamet conducts intimate, entertaining workshops, and many of the students are Judith groupies who sign up for everything she teaches. A retired high-school ceramics teacher, she now teaches at the Art Students League of Denver and the University of Denver. I’ve learned from her how to make accordion books, scrolls and altered books in addition to the book/frame.

She started using cast off books in her projects when she saw high school students carrying boxes of old books to the dumpster and learned that school librarians purge books from the libraries annually. Many of her altered book projects become artists’ journals or photo albums.

I’ve always loved libraries, just for the books. With all the additional resources they offer these days, I just can’t stay away

©2007 Dixie Darr. All rights reserved

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