Every once in a while I take a couple minutes and peruse the amazing projects that are happening on Kickstarter.com. I am especially interested in the projects with a library or librarian theme to them. It seems like I have been reading about some amazing projects done by librarians around the world and at the same time I have heard about other librarians lamenting the lack of funding for awesome projects of their own. Well… I’m all about solutions and it seems like this would be a great way to raise money for your library pet project. Each of these projects have funding goals of less than $10,000.00 and MOST are for less than $5,000.00. I’m only linking the ones that were successful, but there were very few that weren’t.
2012 Reading is Sexy Calendar ($2,500)
The goal of the 2012 Reading is Sexy Calendar is to promote reading in a creative, appealing way. Five of San Diego’s finest professional photographers have donated their talent and have been shooting for the calendar since January. In April we will chose the 12 best photographs for the calendar. Graphic Artist Nate Khouli (Damascus Media) will donate his time and talent to design a hard and digital copy of the calendar.
Seedfolks Seed Library ($2,200)
Seedfolks is an eclectic mix of Oakland, CA-based gardeners who cultivate food crops creatively in the marginal spaces of their urban environment.
In the spirit of reclamation, Seedfolks is following in the footsteps of neighboring seed libraries (Richmond Grows and BASIL) to revive and reclaim traditional knowledge of seed saving and plant propagation in anticipation of our community’s current and future needs.
American Commons: Photographing Libraries Across the Nation ($8,000)
This project is a photographic survey of public libraries throughout the United States. There are over 17,000 public libraries in this country. Since I began the project in 1994 I have photographed hundreds of libraries in nineteen states. From Alaska to Florida and from New England to California the photographs show a vibrant, essential yet threatened system.
The Henry Miller Library in Big Sur is building a new stage! ($6,250)
Situated within a redwood canyon, the stage will serve as a functional and sustainable structure, as well as a beautiful artistic statement integrated into its natural surroundings.
The stage will complement our dizzying array of events across 2011, which will include our Vinyl in the Woods record fair, a tribute to Allen Ginsberg, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, S. Cary of Bon Iver, Bill Callahan (aka Smog) and of course, the world-famous “Big” Big Sur Fashion Show.
Street Books: A Bicycle-Powered Library for People Outside ($4,000)
This project started with a grant from Portland’s Regional Arts & Culture Council. All summer we lent books to people living outside, got to know them well, and had great discussions about literature. We also invited our patrons to be photographed with the book of their choice, and to contribute their own stories from the road.
The Underground Library ($3,000)
Through our accrued circuits of writers, artists, musicians + filmmakers, The Underground Library aims to showcase the vast output of yet-to-be discovered DIY doers in NYC and beyond, ideally resuscitating the magic of the literary object with small, hand-crafted hardcover books that can’t just be read on the internet or back-ordered from a Barnes and Noble.
READOUT, ACTOUT ($1,000)
ReadOUT, ACTout is a theatrical performance based on five commonly challenged children’s books that feature alternative families and gender expressions. This production will not only draw attention to banned books week and the right to read, but will also serve to educate the University of Arizona campus about LGBTQ issues and help prevent bullying of those who are different.
Biking 400 Miles to Forever Abstract Librarianship ($800)
Librarianship is a science. I have spent the past six years using art as a means of scientific intervention in public knowledge economies. In May, 2011, I will bike from Copenhagen to Berlin in a group of 100 librarians from around the world, in the first ever library conference on wheels. I am representing the Molesworth Institute, and hand painting my cycling apparel which will be exhibited in a solo show on Information Technology at the Palo Alto Research Center in January, 2012.
I am surprised by the low number of library projects that are being funded through Kickstarter since there are so many amazing projects that I know that librarians want to do. Just on the Twitter stream alone I have read about so many fantastic projects that should be funded, and I think, could be easily funded. I mean, think about it! You already have a vehicle for publicity on your libraries eBranch or Website. It would be easy to market through your library’s social media. I think that the only thing that’s missing here is a just a little bit of #makeithappen.
So… In the next month or so, I’m going to put my own kickstarter project together and see what I can make happen. I challenge you to do the same! In fact, as I write this I’m thinking about putting together some kind of more formal library kickstarter campaign to slam the website with library related awesomeness! Hmmmm…. I’m getting more and more excited about this idea. So who wants to help me put that together? I’d love to get a couple of librarians to help me with this one. Who’s with me?