Bringing the Arts into the Library

We haven’t shared books here at Programming Librarian before, but given that the Public Programs Office has its own section, “Where to Find Programming Ideas and Resources for the Arts Online,” in this one, we couldn’t resist. And, of course, the book is on a great topic.

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. For Bringing the Arts into the Library, published by ALA Editions, editor Carol Smallwood has combed the country to present examples of programs implemented by a variety of different types of libraries to enrich, educate, and entertain patrons through the arts. The amazing creativity and resourcefulness found in each example provide practical models that can be adapted to any library environment, inspiring librarians looking for unique programming ideas. 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; and
  • initiatives to fight illiteracy through the arts.

Smallwood is the author or editor of numerous books, including the ALA Editions title “Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook. She has written for such publications as The Writer’s Chronicle, Journal of Formal Poetry, Detroit News, Instructor, English Journal, and Michigan Feminist Studies. 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.