We’re two days into 2015 and I’m still nailing down my resolutions. One thing I know for sure is this year I’m going to jump into projects I’ve been putting off because they’re hard or I haven’t felt ready. Expect to see more personal essays and stories on LM.
Before jumping into the year ahead, here’s a look back at some links from November and December to round out 2014.
The Sketchbook Project, an archive of over 30,000 artists’ books, resides at The Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg. The sketchbooks, filled with drawings, collages, notes to self and confessions to readers, have been digitized and cataloged and are now available to browse online. When you search the database of sketchbooks, you are essentially looking through images from the imaginations and dreams of artists around the world. My friend Shoko wrote a cool feature about the project on her blog.
This summer, when schools in Ferguson, MO closed amid protests and riots spurred by the police shooting of Michael Brown, the Ferguson public library stayed open, hosting classes to give people a place to go. Now with help from Twitter and writer Neil Gaiman, the library is getting financial support from around the country. What will they do with the money? Scott Bonner, the head librarian plans to purchase more “healing kits” for children. The kits can be borrowed and include books about dealing with traumatic events and a stuffed animal that children can keep. There’s even talk of the library hiring a second full time librarian.
With so many conflicts making headlines, this quote featured on The Paris Review caught my attention. “If every head of state and every government official spent an hour a day reading poetry we’d live in a much more humane and decent world…” The author? Mark Strand, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1999, who died in November. I had never read Mark Strand’s poetry before, but, after reading tributes to him, I instantly took to his work.
We were given a glimpse into authors and artists appraisal of their own work when Christie’s auctioned 75 annotated first editions this Fall. Beloved author and illustrator Eric Carle found fault with his popular work The Very Hungry Caterpillar writing, “I have often tried to recreate the soul full look of the moon — never succeeded!” The New York Times Magazine has all 75 works available to peruse.
I am envious of the second annual Jealousy List. At year’s end Bloomberg Businessweek compiles some of the stories they wish they had had the know-how to publish over the last 12 months. Topics include: venture philanthropy, offender-funded justice, and the unexpected mass appeal of “Serial.” Hey, there’s nothing wrong with lusting after a story.
2014, it’s been sometimes scary, a little disheartening, but fascinating and inspiring too. I am so grateful to friends for reading and I thank anyone who has stumbled upon and continued to read Library Manifesto this year!
Images via The Sketchbook Project. From top: Stacie Spencer, Aimee Rudic, Maria M. Rodriguez