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Re: Artists' books in the library (fwd)



For the last few years I've been focusing on getting my work into library
collections, rather than into shows, for the reasons people are stating,
i.e., longterm and more intimate accessibility in libraries vs shortterm
and remote display (but more publicity!) in shows. And I've been very
pleased with this, on the whole. One potential problem, that I've only
recently thought of: if one is competing for things like grants,
fellowships, teaching positions, in short, things that ask one to be
"nationally exhibited" as a criterion or qualification, will this count?
Does anyone have any experience with this situation?

Re: cataloguing. One thing to do is to  *take advantage* of the fact that
libraries, under budget pressures, do less and less original cataloguing
these days. If you have opinions about how you want your books catalogued,
you should tell them. Give them all the information they'll need. This is
what the big publishers do, and the libraries have come to rely on it. So,
if you suggest to the library that they put "artists' books -- specimen"
in as one of the subject classifications, this may actually happen,
resulting in your book being more accessible. Once a book has been
catalogued by an OCLC library, other libraries will often copy that entry
for their own catalogs; if you can make sure (nurture a relationship with
a local Spec. Coll. librarian) that first entry is wonderfully complete,
you're in business! I am just starting to experiment with this; here's
why: recently one of my books got catalogued under some LC headings having
to with sweatshops and the garment industry (a reasonable thing, due to
the book's subject matter); as a result, the subject being a hot one these
days, this is probably *the* most sought after artists book in town, and
has lured all kinds of people up to the Book Arts and Special Collections
Department who had almost certainly never been there before, including
*lots* of kids doing social science papers. Score! So what I'm saying is
that there might be some really neat possibilities out there for artists'
books in libraries, if we can play by their rules or at least look as if
we are, for this purpose.

Coriander Reisbord (not Cassandra Moseley despite the heading)


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