UX Librarian: Free Art Books For Libraries

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Free Art Books For Libraries

As a small library with limited resources it's always good to check out the opportunities for free or reduced-cost books online. While researching such opportunities I found the Distribution to Underserved Communities Library Program - Art Resources Transfer in Brooklyn, New York City.

This is an amazing program that distributes new books about contemporary art and culture for free. It took me an hour or so to peruse through the dozens of available book titles and to choose books that I thought would be a good fit for the Pioneer Memorial Public Library. Some of the books included the artwork of Chuck Close, Frank Stella, Cindy Sherman, and many more.

I placed my order for free art books, crossed my fingers and waited patiently. I received an electronic receipt for my order immediately. Because DUC can only ship to a physical address I gave them my own home address as the library has a Post Office box address. It took less than 30 days and I received a notification of shipment from Fed Ex. I received two large boxes of books at my home shortly after the Fed Ex notification.

I lugged my boxes of art books to the library and opened them excitedly. We received approximately two dozen beautiful new art books that are now available for our library patrons. The shipping alone (which was free for the library) must have cost a pretty penny. Some of the titles include:

Art For Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery

The Surreal Calder

Andy Warhol Enterprises

An American Century of Photography

I sent a thank you to DUC almost immediately and let them know that as an isolated and underserved region of the US, the nearest art museum is in Pittsburgh, PA, nearly three hours away. Locally we have little access to contemporary art and these books help to connect us to current ideas and culture in the art world. We are so grateful for this shipment of free and beautiful art books.

The only limitation to the DUC Art Resources Transfer is that only one order may be fulfilled per year. Also, I didn't get all the books that I requested. There are limited copies of these books of contemporary art so our library received what was available when I placed the order. Also, the website reminds you to be patient: it takes time to gather up the books, box them and ship them.

I know I will be back next year to select another shipment of books for the Pioneer Memorial Public Library. Do you love art? Or, are you just curious to check out the new books? Stop by and we'll be happy to share them with you.

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