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Using a library's facilities to bring arts to the community is not only a valuable service, but also a wonderful marketing and outreach opportunity, a tangible way to show the public that libraries offer value, thus shoring up grassroots support. Editor Smallwood has combed the country finding examples of programs implemented by a variety of different types of libraries to enrich, educate, and entertain patrons through the arts. Her book shares such successful efforts as

  • Poetry programs in the public library
  • Gatherings for local authors at the community college
  • Creative writing in middle schools
  • Multicultural arts presentations at the university library
  • Initiatives to fight illiteracy through the arts

The amazing creativity and resourcefulness found in each example provide practical models which can be adapted to any library environment, inspiring librarians looking for unique programming ideas.

  ForewordIntroductionArts Acknowledgments Part I Literary Arts 1. The Big Write-In: A Collaborative Outreach Event for Writers during National Novel Writing Month

Stacey R. Ewing

2. Librarian as Teacher: Teaching a Creative Writing Class in the School Library

Robert Craig Bunch

3. Poetry Corner: Collaboration among Us

Sue Samson

 Part II Visual Arts 4. Adult Literacy Programs and Art

Sarah Naumann

5. Displaying and Promoting Visual Art at the Nashua Public Library

Carol Luers Eyman

6. Utilizing Student Talent to Create Appealing Library Posters

Heather Payne

7. Visual Arts in the Academic Library

Jennifer Mayer

 Part III Performing Arts 8. Developing Regional Heritage Music Collections

Sandra M. Himel and Lance R. Chance

9. Making Music Collections Come Alive

Greg MacAyeal

10. PML Players: Theater Arts at the Patchogue-Medford Library

Jeri Weinkrantz Cohen

 Part IV Mixed Arts 11. ART: Art Revolution for Teens

Heather Pippin Zabriskie, Natalie Houston, and Vera Gubnitskaia

12. Children in a Research Library? Creative Projects for K–12 Students at the Rakow Research Library of the Corning Museum of Glass

Regan Brumagen and Beth Hylen

13. Gilpin County Public Library Arts Programs

Larry Grieco

14. The Library as Canvas: Library Larry's Big Day

Kerol Harrod

 Part V Management and Administration 15. Art Works: Strengthening Downtown with Library-Arts Partnerships

Elizabeth Goldman and Sara Wedell

16. Behind the Scenes: The Legal and Contractual Aspects of Booking Exhibits and Presenters in a Library

Nora J. Quinlan and Sarah Cisse

17. Collaboration as Outreach in the Twenty-First-Century Academic Library

Allan Cho

18. Java City: Developing a Successful Cultural Center

Jack G. Montgomery

19. Raising Money to Support the Arts in Your Public Library

Florence F. Caddell

20. Where to Find Programming Ideas: Resources for the Arts Online

Angela Thullen


Carol Smallwood

Carol Smallwood received her MLS from Western Michigan University and her MA in history from Eastern Michigan University. She is the author or editor of numerous books for Scarecrow, McFarland, Libraries Unlimited, Pudding House Publications, Peter Lang, and others. Some other credits include The Writer's Chronicle, Journal of Formal Poetry, Detroit News, Instructor, English Journal, and Michigan Feminist Studies. Her novel, Lily's Odyssey, appeared in 2010; she coedited the anthology Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages (2009), and she has a short story in Best New Writing 2010. A 2009 National Federation of State Poetry Societies Award Winner and a finalist for the 2009 Eric Hoffer Award for prose, she has experience in school, public, and special libraries and has served as a library consultant. Smallwood appears in Contemporary Authors, Who's Who in America, and is a member of the American Library Association. She received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

"In today's increasingly commercialized world, the need for a public space to celebrate the arts rather than the almighty dollar is greater than ever, making Bringing the Arts into the Library welcome, needed, and highly recommended!"
--Library Bookwatch

"This anthology selects library case studies in four different categories of art and art management. The art categories are literary, visual, performing, and mixed. School, public, academic, and special libraries are represented in the anthology of twenty chapters ... While some of the examples are too specialized to duplicate without a massive effort, even those examples express passion for arts in libraries. The teen-oriented programs are the most accessible. The second to last chapter is perhaps the most important one of all: 'Raising Money to Support the Arts in Your Library.' That chapter should be required reading for all programming librarians and their administration."—VOYA

"This anthology presents a treasure trove of ideas from beyond the library world. Cultural institutions of all kinds, including libraries, museums, academic institutions, and performing arts centers, will glean programming ideas that are presented in succinct chapters scanning a broad realm of possibilities. Seasoned editor Carol Smallwood divides the book into five parts, and the book as a whole gives insight into the entire programming process."
— Reference & User Services Quarterly