Sunday, March 2, 2014

...for the love of a gooood library...

Vashon Island, King County Library kicks ass. I love my library. The librarians rule. The collection is off the charts fabu. If it isn't in the library on the island, I simply request a hold. The ghosts in the machine fish the title off a shelf somewhere in the King County system, deposit it on the shelf here on Vashon, and flag it neatly under the "J" section with a little ticket sticking out that says "Kara Jones." I get an email that says, "Your hold item is waiting for you." And wa-la, fantabulously fabu art books in my hands! I love my library.

Why am I sharing this? Who cares? Well, it's part of my practice of living a creative life every single day. When my first son died, what did I do? I did internet searches for books. Where did I get them mostly? The library. If I loooooved a particular title, well then, yes, usually I would buy it. But I almost never buy a book without checking it out of the library first.

When I lose my inspiration and umph for artmaking, what do I do? I do internet searches for books. Where do I get them? The library. If I find one I love, I will probably buy it. But I NEVER buy an art book without checking it out of the library first.

When I get totally obsessed with a particular artist and want to just take in everything I possibly can by and about them, what do I do? The Library!!

Part of it is the whole island living thing. We have a lovely bookshop here -- actually a couple bookshops as the back room of Minglemint is now hosting the antique bookshop again. But our bookshops are not your typical, mainland superbookstore where you can just pick it up and read to decide. Believe me, our bookshops can get anything for you, but often it isn't on the shelf to browse, so they are ordering it online, too, you know? For this reason, the library is my decision making space. I love my library. Have I mentioned that?

And here's a really interesting evolution to this love story. Our library has been in a temporary store front for the past year as the main library site has been under massive renovation. But lookie lookie, she's almost done and ready for re-inhabiting:

When I went to pick up my books today, the librarians told us March 29th!! That's the big open house day. They'll be closed the 5 days prior with the move from the temp site to come back home (fyi for all y'all islanders!). I'm so excited to ring in our 1 year anniversary of being back home by ringing in the house warming for the new library. And the library home is this incredibly easy walk from where we live, so I plan to spend lots of time at the new library in the coming year. Will be so lovely to have the green space back around the library, too. I've missed sprawling out on the grass under the trees on the hill there. Will feel like a proper summer again with that space open again. And I'm just guessing that next winter will feel like a proper winter again, too, when I can spend rainy days in the stacks!

Anyway, point to all this is, go to your library! Support your library. If you are in Pittsburgh near the Carnegie Library + Museum in Oakland, well, you lucky dawg! and go there! :) Want some real heART proof that the library is inspiring? Fine. You got it. You may remember a while back I was obsessed with Jean-Michel Basquiat, was writing about him, reading books, watching dvds, looking up old magazine articles. Some of that I could do on the internet, yes. But to get a really goooooood look at his work, the details? The oversized coffee table books from the library, of course! And I paged them and checked them out and renewed them and ordered more from the stacks and obsessed properly for a month at least.  Here's one of a series I just finished -- a series that started after my obsession with his work -- clearly:

I love my library! Go give your library some lovin' too, loves! XOXO


  1. I love my library too! I got my first library card in kindergarten, and I still remember the thrill I felt when told I could borrow as many books as I could carry!

    1. Totally have that same memory from being a kid! I can still feel what it felt like to look at all the stacks and think, "They are mine!!" :) <3


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