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Books gain new life in discARTed show and sale

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Books destined for recycling have gained a new life in the form of creative artwork with a purpose – to support the Prince Edward County Public Library and partner event Author’s Festival.

discARTed 1The fourth annual disARTed show and sale opened Sunday above Books & Company and includes about 35 entries from 16 artists.

“The library can’t keep all the books forever as much as we would love to,” said Christine Renaud. “Some fall apart, some get too old and we wanted to give them an extra life so that’s how we started disARTed and people in the community have embraced it. We have works from artists, and people who don’t consider themselves as artists but they still make beautiful art from the books.”

The pieces are all for sale, except the 2014 Peoples’ Choice dress purchased by the book store. Proceeds are split between the Prince Edward County Library’s six branches and the PEC Author’s Festival. The show continues through to Friday.

"Guten free"

“Guten free”

In celebration of Library Week, the discARTed show opening also featured the launch of the Re:Collections zine (handmade magazine) by Krista Dalby, who spent the summer collecting stories about libraries.

“People love their libraries,” Dalby said. “The stories run the full range of human experience: romance, adventure, travel. But my favourite stories are the ones that are deeply human, that explore the magic of the shared space that a library provides.”

readingsJoan McBride and Rick Zimmerman joined Renaud and Dalby in the reading of some of the stories.

A few excerpts:

“I used to work at the Carleton University Library. Every year, someone would snap around fianl exams, take off all their clothes and come in to the library,” said Janet Elson. “The year I witnessed this phenomenon, the person was stopped at the Stacks desk and told they couldn’t come in to the library without their library card.”

“The librarians that I encountered in my childhood were all very dour. Not friendly. Not smiley. Not flexible. And I was a really shy kid. So you knew how much I liked the library because I braved this,” said Barbara Sweet, who has been CEO of the County of Prince Edward Library since 1999 and was a librarian before that. The librarians of her youth, she said, were not nice people and she was compelled to become a friendly librarian.

“The library has, for me, always been a magical place where the whole world just waited to be discovered – and all because I had a little card that made me a member of that circle. All those books just waiting for me. What a powerful feeling for a young, shy child,” said Ann Wardrop.

Sales of the $10 zines see half the proceeds going to the Prince Edward County Public Library and Archives. Zines can be purchased at the Picton branch.

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