Cover of "The Artist's Library" (Coffee House Press, May 2014). Designer: Linda Koutsky. Artwork by Lisa Occhipinti. Logo design by Rebecca Light.

Cover of “The Artist’s Library” (Coffee House Press, May 2014). Designer: Linda Koutsky. Artwork by Lisa Occhipinti. Logo design by Rebecca Light.

The Artist’s Library: a Field Guide from the Library as Incubator Project
by Laura Damon-Moore & Erinn Batykefer
Coffee House Press
May 2014

ISBN: 978-1-56689-353-4.

Creativity, like information, is free to everyone who steps into a library. An offshoot of the Library as Incubator Project, The Artist’s Library offers that an artist is any person who uses creative tools to make new things, and provides the guidance and resources to make libraries come alive as spaces for art-making and cultural engagement. The book draws attention to the physical and digital collections and resources that may be of particular use to artists and writers, provides ideas for art education opportunities within libraries, and offers practical how-tos for artists and libraries alike. From the crafty (pop-up books) to the community-minded (library galleries); the documentary (photo projects) to the technically complex (“listening” to libraries via Dewey decimal frequencies), the case studies included in the book feature artists, writers, performers, and libraries that embody the “library as incubator” spirit.


We have created a free downloadable program guide with ideas for how to use The Artist’s Library with your community. Visit Coffee House Press to download and click on EXCERPT.


“In [The Artist’s Library], Laura and Erinn share some artistic projects that prove today’s library isn’t the shushing environment you may remember from first grade. . . . Maybe that’s not quite how you’ve always thought of libraries, but that’s exactly what the Incubator Project hopes to change.” —Midwest Living

“Librarians Damon-Moore and Batykefer (cofounders, with Christina ­Endres, Librarian as Incubator Project [LaIP]) have succeeded in producing a guide that benefits artists, librarians, and all creative learners. Libraries and the people who work in and visit them can be an immense resource for building and inspiring creativity, no matter the media in which one works.” Library Journal

“This quirky and imaginative book celebrates individuals’ potential for creativity and libraries as vital and vibrant community resources.” Kirkus

“The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide is the best kind of self-help book—the library providing intellectual and artistic growth on a personal level.”NewPages



“In an overstimulated age, when inspired contemplative space can be challenging to secure—whether you live in a culturally rich city or a more remote locale—it can be easy to forget that libraries even exist, that there’s a place full of literature, art, reliable resources, and unimpeded quiet available for free—often just a walk or short drive away. But Batykefer and her cohort, along with their creative contributors, are predicting an expansion of the idea of what a library is and does.” —Poets & Writers



Librarians and authors Jessica Pigza, Laura Damon-Moore, and Erinn Batykefer talk about libraries as places to inspire artists and artwork before leading a project in the ACC library.