April 23, 2006

New Life for Old books

Wow! Great article by the New York Times reporting on a project by the Portland (ME) Public Library to turn weeded books into art. 186 weeded books were "altered" by artists and given new life in the catalog.

A subject search for Altered Books - Maine reveals 177 books that can be borrowed. 9 books can't be borrowed because they are too fragile or too dangerous (the book "Inaccessibility" by Joanna House, is covered with dressmaker pins, according to the Times).

See photos from the Times of Leaves of Grass / Field of Greens and Candy Dish.

Some cataloging notes: "the cards required longer descriptions than usual, and the artists were allowed to pick subject heading for their works. 'Candy Dish,' for which Brandy Bushey carved out the middle of a book called 'Feeding the Brain' and filled it with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, is listed under book arts and confectioners arts, for example, as well as candy."

Or look at the record for Sticky fingers / by Tabor Story. The note says: "Altered copy of: Teaching reading in today's elementary schools by Paul C. Burns, Betty D. Roe, Elinor P. Ross, 5th ed., Boston, Houghton Mifflin, c1992. ISBN visible, author and title not visible. Cut and shaped book, pages glued together with peanut butter and jelly. Item wrapped in plastic wrap, encased in a zip-lock plastic bag." And subject headings include Lunch; Jelly; Peanut Butter; Food; and Children's Books.


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