Incubating Creativity at Your Library: A Sourcebook for Connecting with Communities

ALA. 2019. 192p. ISBN 9780838918623. pap. $54.99. PRO MEDIA
Libraries have long been centers of inspiration and creativity, but how does that happen? As library science students, Batykefer and Damon-Moore (both LJ Movers & Shakers, 2014; The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide) started the Library as Incubator Project to answer that question and to find out how libraries can best serve artists. They define artists as anyone who uses physical or digital tools to make something new, and urge librarians to rely on existing resources and materials they have access to remotely, including via databases and interlibrary loan, and to build on ideas that have worked elsewhere. This is not a “how to” guide. Readers won’t find lists of what to purchase or how to design spaces; instead, they’ll learn how to amplify what their library already has and how to fill in the gaps. The reassuring and enthusiastic tone will bolster librarians: “You can do this. You already have plenty to work with.” Case studies, including how Jessica Pigza launched Handmade Crafternoons at the New York Public Library, and how Mallory Arents established Adult Day Camp at Darien Library, CT, round out the work. Included are a sample project kit for a program, “The Great Poetry Hunt,” and a form for data collection for program assessment.
VERDICT Librarians, artists, and educators will find this a valuable and inspiring guide for developing creative community programs.
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