Dixie Darr


In Books, creativity, Learning, Lent - Season of Change on April 14, 2017 at 3:43 pm

thinker1Lent—Season of Change, Day 39

Some people just can’t leave well enough alone. They take a perfectly fine book and turn it into something else – a sculpture, a journal, a scrapbook. Part bookbinding, part bibliovandalism, part mixed-media collage, and part scrapbooking, the craft of altered books is becoming increasingly popular,” according to Makezine.

The International Society of Altered Book Artists, defines it as “any book, old or new, that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art. They can be … rebound, painted, cut, burned, folded, added to, collaged in, gold-leafed, rubber stamped, drilled, or otherwise adorned…”

The sculpture pictured, which is in the Arvada Public Library, uses folded and rolled newspapers to create a poor man’s version of The Thinker.

Altered books serve as a metaphor for the transformation of libraries themselves. A library containing only books may exist somewhere, but most modern libraries have grown far beyond a simple repository for books. People who try to defund libraries and insist they are obsolete are clearly people who have never set foot in one. 

A recent report from the Center for an Urban Future highlighted the benefits to immigrants, seniors, individuals searching for work, public school students and aspiring entrepreneurs. Not surprisingly, libraries across the country are experiencing a surge in popularity. Maria Popova, the brilliant and tireless creator of BrainPickings calls libraries “those most democratic cultural temples of wisdom where we come to commune with humanity’s most luminous minds; where the rewards are innumerable and destiny-changing, and the only price of admission is willingness.”

The cofounders of The Library as Incubator project promote using the library as “a sandbox for creativity, a productivity booster for your work, and as source of immense nourishment for the life of the mind.”

Is it any wonder that the theme for National Library Week is “Libraries Transform”?


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