For immediate release | November 10, 2011

Art appreciation @ your library

CHICAGO – Libraries have long been places dedicated to the arts of reading, thinking and writing. Today many libraries are providing their users with instruction, resources and space to expand their knowledge and explore all types of artistic pursuits.

Here are just a few examples of what libraries across the country are doing.

Through its Art @ your library program, the Dubuque (Iowa) Carnegie-Stout Library continues its historical relationship between the library and the arts. Every other month, the library matches two- and three-dimensional artists and invites them to display their work in the library’s rotunda. The program provides the library with a rotating collection of art, while giving the artists a place to exhibit and sell their work.

The St. Louis County (Mo.) Library introduces young library users to the world of art with Art @ your library. Programs in the series have included papier-mache sculpting, puppet making and painting. The library also hosts Art @ your library: You @ art Gallery Night, where participating children can showcase their art at their local branch library.

Recently, the Keene (N.H.) Public Library began hosting a series on the art of books and printing. So far the series, Book Arts @ your library, has covered topics like pop-up books, miniatures and book binding. The program is interactive, allowing participant to not only learn, but create as well.

Throughout 2011, the Tompkins County Public Library (Ithaca, N.Y.) showcased a different art exhibition each month as part of its A Year of Art @ your library series. The series explores a variety of different types of art and themes on a bi-monthly basis. Programs have included an art exhibit based on Carl Sagan’s book “Cosmos,” which showcased interstellar photographs and an exhibit on small-edition and one-of-a-kind artists’ books, as well as an exhibit on local professional and amateur artists.

Continuing its long running art series, Centuries of Art @ your library, the Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library will host two programs in November. In partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), the first program will discuss and showcase the museum’s collection of American and European jewelry made between 1890 and 1930 and will reflect the arts and crafts, art nouveau and art deco movements. The second program will discuss the building of France’s Chartres Cathedral. Both programs are free to the public and held in the library’s theater.

The Campaign for America’s Libraries ( is ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations.


Megan McFarlane