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BiblioCraft: The Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects
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BiblioCraft: The Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  258 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
There is untold wealth in library collections, and, like every good librarian, Jessica Pigza loves to share. In BiblioCraft, Pigza hones her literary hunting-and-gathering skills to help creatives of all types, from DIY hobbyists to fine artists, develop projects based on library resources. In Part I, she explains how to take advantage of the riches libraries have to offer ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Harry N. Abrams
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Rating details
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Jul 27, 2016 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference
Beautiful book, and probably just marvelous for the right artisan. But much too artsy-fartsy for me. The one project I wanted to consider, I couldn't figure out how to make (felt dogwood blossoms)... and besides, none of these are practical.

What I want is suggestions on how to use the actual paper from worn-out books, not photocopies or stencils from images found in specialized and rare-books libraries.

Yay for libraries, so I could check this out instead of buying it!
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Five stars for concept alone- using library resources to craft and create, guys! It is also worth five stars for the information provided on the different kinds of libraries (branch, research, special collections, digital, national, special, repositories...). Not to mention explaining the importance of library etiquette, policies and systems, library catalogs, call numbers, how to search, recommended library collections, copyright laws, and the world of digital libraries.

And, then...
Let the cra
I wish more of these crafts were usable in a library setting. That being said, as a crafter some of these would be really fun. Most are WAAAAAAYYYY too hard, but there are some cool visuals that are a good jumping off point for stuff I might actually do. I LOVE that each craft is accompanied by the library resource by which it was inspired. The author highlights some really cool types of resources (bookplates, vintage instruction manuals, book bindings, cartouches, etc.) and includes subject hea ...more
Gina Schaarschmidt
May 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
What a weird book. I am a librarian and a crafter and I couldn't find much in either area to hook me. I ended up scanning most of it instead of reading in depth because I couldn't get interested enough to really read it. So take that with a grain of salt when you read this review.

The first part of the book is an overview on how to use libraries. The second is a smattering of projects that might or might not be interesting.

It's a good book for librarians who want to give their patrons ideas and
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: story
This is a wonderful book. This is a book for makers/crafters and library workers. Reading this book brought me lots of joy - I found I was smiling to myself as I read it. It is written by a rare book librarian, and based on five years of crafternoons (a new term for me) at New York Public Library.

This book connects library collections and resources, including skilled librarians, with makers (in this book called crafters, but really they are they same, or at least very very similar). This is the
Brooke Smith
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crafts, artwork
I'll preface this by saying that this book performs a valuable service: it's driving force mission is to encourage people who aren't aware of a library's plethora of services to think about sourcing crafting ideas and reproducible materials via local public, academic, and governmental libraries. It gives step by step ideas on how to contact them for special collections and how to discuss your crafting plans and ideas with the librarian caretakers of these beautiful collections. If you'd like a ...more
PEI Public Library Service
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jessica Pigza is a rare books librarian who has been combining her passions - libraries and crafting - by hosting regular DIY sessions at the NYPL with a view to highlighting the library's collection of a range of resources. This book rides the wave of maker culture and demonstrates the fantastic wealth of resources to be found for free in libraries.

The book is a show and tell to finding the unique materials held in library collections, and then proceeds to inspire new projects, complete with in
Naomi Blackburn
May 31, 2014 rated it liked it
I will say that I preferred the detailed information on library usage vs. the craft ideas in the book. However, I utilize my library much more for research purposed and am not at all crafty. There were a couple of the crafts that I thought were at a novice crafter's level, but thought the majority were more for an advanced crafter. Step by step instructions are offered for each advanced project, but not pictures of how they should look at that step. I do think if my library offered any of these ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was not what I expected at all. The second part is craft projects 'inspired' by books and sections of the library. Those were fine. Not too unique or unusual, and varied degrees of difficulty.
The best and most surprising, though was the first part of the book. It describes libraries, library jargon, how to find what you want, the differences between types of libraries (it was a whole section of what librarians call BI, Bibliographic Instruction). I wish this first section was a book a
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Unique and creative, fun and frugal. Not much I love more than libraries and crafts!
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm gonna start sewing illuminated initials on everything I own. Look out everybody.
Jaci Millette Cooper
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
An unexpected read about how libraries (physical and digital) can be gold mines of innumerable resources for craft inspiration, collaboration, and research in the arts and crafts realm. Upon picking this book up, I thought “ Books and crafts, together? A perfect harmony of my two passions!” I had assumed the text would be focused on ideas for using discarded or outdated books—presenting cute craft ideas like book page Christmas ornaments and paper flowers— I anticipated something very Pinterest- ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
I didn't delve too deeply in this one. I'm not sure what I'd been expecting, but it was something more exciting. It teaches readers how to research in the library, and then gives a collection of craft ideas that could be found in any other craft book, but these in particular were inspired by trips to the library to do research. The whole thing just comes across like it's trying too hard.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic for links to library sources. I didn't find the project examples as inspiring.
May 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not helpful. Thought it would be more about the craft and less about the biblio.
Sara Lissa Paulson
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
creative ways to think about library research....displaying the sheer serendipity and bringing forth of curiosity which libraries, the idea institute, inspire in people of all ages.
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bibliocraft blew me away! It was not at all what I was expecting, and I couldn't be happier. :) This book is in two parts: Part I, which showcases all the great resources contained within your public library and how to access them and Part II, which showcases amazing craft projects inspired by library resources with instructions on how to replicate the crafts!

Jessica Pigza is a rare and special books librarian in NYC, and I'm a little jealous. Her job sounds so cool! All those really unique and
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book has two basic sections one about using the library and the other for the projects. The first introduces you to different types of libraries and special collections and offers tips for planning a visit to use those collections. It also offers a basic overview of catalog systems and offers tips to help find just exactly what you're looking to check if a book has illustrations, using keyword and subject search together to narrow focus, search for certain time frame or just mag. ...more
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great introduction to the world of libraries and how they can be used by makers to drum up ideas for creative projects. The author, Jessica Pigza, is a librarian at the New York Public Library, who also happens to be a creator herself. She offers great tips on how to use libraries in person and online to help you find what you're looking for, from where to start looking, to how to prepare for a library visit, to how to use library catalogs and the internet, to understanding the li ...more
Julie - Book Hooked Blog
Please take a moment and just imagine my excitement when this book showed up in the library to be processed. I had been itching to get my hands on a copy since I'd first heard about it. If you've followed me for any length of time, you know that there's nothing I love more than a good craft - especially one that involves books. This is a total delight to page through, read in detail, and keep on the shelf. I'm currently on the lookout for a copy to keep at home, because access at work just isn't ...more
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another jewel from the library and I just ordered this tonight!

I love this book and this belongs in my library. I will be trying my hand at a bunch of the projects in this book. It revitalized my love of research and the library. The pictures are gorgeous. The patterns easy to blow up and use. I enjoyed the finding inspiration at the library section. It tells you how to utilize your branch library and research libraries. It also talks about special collections, and finding the right library for
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is overall beautifully done and a pleasure to look through, but in the end a bit disappointing as far as the actual art projects to look at. The premise of the book is how to look in old library books and archives whether in person or through digitized resources to find inspirations for art projects. The inspiration might come from endpapers, illuminated typeface, illustrations, maps, charts, etc. The first half of the book is an extremely well done guide on how to use libraries to fin ...more
Margo Brooks
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: needlework
If you are a regular library user, and you likely are if you've picked up this book, you may think that using a library to kick start your creative process is a no brainer. And what could you really learn from a book on the subject? I thought that, but then I actually read this book--not only the first 60 pages that discuss how to use a library to get the most out of the experience, but the project chapters which outline the inspiration behind some great projects, and provides in depth informati ...more
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Using libraries for arts & crafts inspiration? My modus operandi! I loved that she really delves into how libraries work and how to make them work for you, even if I already knew those perks as an employee of one. The crafts within are interesting, but not many are to my taste and they all require special materials of some kind. Overall, I much preferred Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book and The Repurposed Library for accessibility of the proj ...more
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: making, nonfiction
As someone interested in art, craft, and libraries, this book was right up my alley. I’d recommend it to any crafter, not just those who have bookish inclinations. First off, it provides great resources for finding inspiration in a library. Not only is there a pretty comprehensive description on how to use a library, covering Library of Congress Classification and Dewey Decimal Classification, and giving a good outline of what to expect in a catalog record, but this book also lays out what kind ...more
Karen A.
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a great book and especially relevant to those who love libraries. This book gives a great explanation of how to use a library and its resources and then gives examples of crafts/art/creative things that resulted from using those very same resources. It comes along at a time when librarians are trying to get the idea of 'whole library experience' across to its users. Ms Pigza bypasses the terminology and demonstrates that simply using the library and its many resources is experience enoug ...more
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was hoping to get some ideas for library programs, but I was pretty disappointed with the craft offerings. The information about libraries, and searching for things in them (including some information about digital libraries) might be useful to people who don't use libraries much, but for people who work in libraries, and have a lot of personal experience with them, the information is not very enlightening.
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: crafters
Shelves: library, crafting
I requested this book from my library, because obviously, but I need to get my own copy. It's fantastic! There is so much information in here about general library research, especially for visual materials. And the projects that the designers came up with are so cool! There is so much design inspiration in here, and so many resources for finding even more out in the world.

(It was also pretty great to see the Newberry Library in Chicago specifically mentioned - I've been there!)
Karrie Stewart
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love the idea of this book. Going to the library to find ideas to start your next craft project. The crafts that are included in this book are for the pro's but it does give you ideas and where you can start. I also love how it gives you lists of libraries to look at as well as how to read a card catalog if you aren't library science savvy. I just wish the crafts were a little more on the easy side.
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, craft
Love this book! Get inspiration from the library! It contains an introduction to using library resources and details crafts inspired by specific items from the library. Although I love the idea, I think most of the crafts in the book aren't accessible for everyone and are probably on a higher level of crafty diy people. But inspire it does.
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