Posts filed under ‘academic libraries’

John Latham’s “Art and Culture”

My colleague Diane Westerfield found a library shenanigan in a scholarly article!

“The Library in Art’s Crosshairs” by Henry Pisciotta. Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America, v. 35 no. 1, Spring 2016.
“British artist John Latham, while teaching at St. Martin’s School of Art in 1966, checked out a copy of Greenberg’s respected book [Art and Culture] from his school’s library and took it to an evening gathering of friends and students, where the book’s pages were removed and chewed, by a number of participants, and spat into a jar. Later Latham, keenly interested in science, performed a series of chemical transformations on the remains, slowly reducing them to a goo, which he sealed into a glass vial. Overdue notices were received from the library, so Latham eventually attempted to return the book to the librarian in its modified state. This offer was refused. Latham’s teaching contract was not renewed. A few years later, Latham fashioned a carrying case for the vial, some of the lab apparatus, and the library notices, and  today the assemblage is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.”

The resulting artwork, titled, like the original book, “Art and Culture,” is not currently on view at MoMA, but you can see more information about it here.

October 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm Leave a comment

art made from digitized non-circulating books

Temple BarCraig Conley makes visual art from digitized “non-circulating” library books. As he explains in his artist’s statement:

Some library books, for a variety of reasons, become “non-circulating.”  … It’s a precious status, indicative of value, rarity, and refererence-worthiness.  Yet there’s a tinge of sadness, too — a hint of decrepitude and dormancy.  We asked a book-whisperer and learned that books do wish to circulate, to be worldly, to mingle, to be at large. …  Then, through a painstaking process involving collaged elements from non-circulating volumes of old magazines, we add some talisman-like flowing imagery to break the stagnation …

September 27, 2016 at 2:16 pm Leave a comment

I’ve got a golden ticket…

…I’ve got a golden twinkle in my eye…

Colorado College’s Tutt Library is currently undergoing a major renovation, and most of our books are off-site until the fall of 2017. During this school year, as we retrieve and drop off materials multiple times a day, we are placing golden tickets into random books:


And thus, I have this song in my head almost all the time now.

September 7, 2016 at 2:50 pm Leave a comment

library olympics


The library of the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio held its first-ever Library Olympics in August of 2016. Events included book-truck maneuvering, speed-sorting, and journal-Jenga.

Thanks, Ross Gresham!

August 15, 2016 at 11:58 am Leave a comment

library workers on roller skates

My friend David Weinstock was skeptical when his mother mentioned she wore roller skates as a page at New York University in the early 1940s. He did a little research and discovered this!

New York Times Pages On Roller Skates (1)

That’ll teach him to doubt his mother.

I haven’t been able to find any photographs of the NYU pages, but according to this article in Noticing New York, the film You’re a Big Boy Now features a roller-skating library worker:

You Are A Big Boy Now

I suppose we don’t need pages on roller skates any more, since digitization puts so much information at our fingertips. Why, we hardly even need to get up from our computer chairs any more. Alas. I suppose we could try skating at our treadmill desks, kind of like this guy:

August 5, 2016 at 9:48 am Leave a comment

architectural model shenanigans

Tutt Library at Colorado College is undergoing a major renovation right now (in fact, I’m listening to the sounds of slams and crashes as I type this). Workmen cleaned out our sub-basement and found an old architectural model of our building, probably made in 1980 when the South addition was built.

tutt model

As soon as we installed the model in our display case, my colleague Sarah Bogard began taking close-up photographs. I think these are lovely, and strangely poetic.

tutt model entrance

tutt model side entrance

tutt model close up kickWe found ourselves placing the little people in various arrangements and playing with the model like a dollhouse. Other colleagues stopped by to see what we were doing and got involved. Someone said this set-up looked like the whomping willow in the Harry Potter books:

tutt model whomping willow

An hour or so later, a small Pegasus appeared.


What will happen next?


Addendum, May 26, 2016:


Addenda, May 31, 2016:




May 25, 2016 at 4:27 pm 1 comment

towel-related literature

I love when libraries put together oddball mini-exhibitions on obscure topics. (I guess that’s no surprise coming from the person who brought you mini-exhibitions on 19th Century Beards, Different Kinds of Paperclips, and Composition Books.) The Cambridge University Library currently has a display of their towel-related holdings in honor of Towel Day, May 25, celebrating Douglas Adams and his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Possibly my favorite sentence in the article: “The bibliography of towels is, in fact, remarkably limited.” Thanks, Lynne M. Thomas!

May 25, 2016 at 3:44 pm 1 comment

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