The Library as Incubator Project was created by Erinn Batykefer, Laura Damon-Moore, and Christina Jones, and was inspired by a discussion about creative advocacy for libraries in one of their courses at the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies.
The Project highlights the ways that libraries and artists can work together, and works to strengthen these partnerships. At a time in which both libraries and arts organizations are often having to do more with less, it makes sense for these two parts of our culture to support each other. The Library as Incubator Project calls attention to one of the many reasons libraries are important to our communities and our culture, and provides a dynamic online forum for sharing ideas.
- Program examples that incubate creativity for all ages, from storytime plans to Lifetime Arts workshops for older adults.
- Scalable makerspace resources and case studies, including an ongoing series from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh that chronicles the development of The Labs from the very first planning meeting.
- Examples of public art projects at libraries around the country.
- Professional development opportunities through our classes and webinars
- Our sister site, The Book to Art Club, where we pair book club discussions with hands-on projects for teens and adults.
- Our book, The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide, which includes practical exercises and examples from working artists on how to see the library as a creative tool.
“After some research, we realized we couldn’t find anything about artists in the academic library literature, so we set out to answer these questions ourselves. During a one-credit Independent Study course, we designed a qualitative survey and sent it to over 100 artists, writers, makers, and librarians in the Madison area. We wanted to know if artists used their local library (or any library, for that matter), how they used libraries, and what kinds of services they’d like to see from libraries. We were blown away by the response: not only do libraries play a huge role in a lot of artists’ work and creative process, but in so very many different ways! We heard everything from “I found books that inspired me” to “I actively seek out library resources to help with project research” to “I love working in the hushed quiet of a library.”