MASS MoCA Bibliothecaphilia

I am making the wild assumption that most readers of this blog like libraries and art. If so, then perhaps you wish you were planning a trip to Massachusetts as much as I do.

January 24th the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art opens the exhibit Bibliothecaphilia in which six artists “explore the medium and ethos of libraries: institutions straddling the public and private spheres, the escapism that libraries offer, libraries’ status as storehouses for physical books — and thus for experiences and knowledge — and the way that these objects circulate and are re-used.”

The Wall Street Journal offers a sneak peek in this article and slideshow. Wish I could be there to see what artists think about libraries, but instead I’ll stay home with the librarians thinking about artists.

Welcome, and bring on your news!

sather_tower_and_campanile_-_michael_pihulic_02     Welcome, many new followers from the Mountain West Chapter!

I hope you will all begin to share ideas and news here in the new year. A wide variety of submissions would be welcome: information about new projects at your library, exciting new additions to your collections, useful tools you’ve heard about, and your own accomplishments and awards. If you’re interested in it, chances are that some other chapter members will be as well. Let’s get to know each other better!

Over on the right you’ll see a link to email your news to the editor. That’s the easiest way to share your stories here.

In the meantime, in celebration of this festive season (and the gorgeous snowstorm now settled over Santa Fe, where I write), here’s some news about a very cool competition. Hack the Bells, the first international carillon remix competition, has chosen its winners. The competition was the brainchild of Sarah Stierch, during her time as Susan B. Miller Fellow at the Berkeley Center for New Media at the University of California, Berkeley. She reports that “All works submitted were required to be released under a Creative Commons Share-Alike 4.0 license ” and cites this as proof that contemporary art and open licenses can coexist, if incentives are offered to artists. In this case the winner was promised a cash prize of $700 plus acquisition of their work by the University of California Berkeley and Anton Brees Carillon Library. Submissions ranged from musical works to knitted scarves, poetry, paintings, installation works, and theatre pieces.

While this isn’t specifically a “library” project, I thought it shed interesting light on current discussions in library-land, such as the evolution of intellectual property rights, and the trend toward libraries creating (in this case inspiring) rather than simply acquiring content.

(photo from )


“…libraries are full of ideas…”

Did you catch David Baldacci‘s interview in the New York Times Sunday Book Review? Here’s what he had to say about libraries:

“I was a library rat. Libraries are the mainstays of democracy. The first thing dictators do when taking over a country is close all the libraries, because libraries are full of ideas and differences of opinion, all the things we say we want in a free and open society. So keep ‘em, fund ‘em, embrace and cherish ‘em.”

Add it to your file of excellent library quotes. Thanks, Mr. Baldacci.