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‘Old Books/New Lives’ Treats Discards With Distinction

The first floor of Madigan Library is overflowing with imaginative creations by Pennsylvania College of Technology students: “Old Books/New Lives: The Art of Upcycling,” an exhibit of “novel” artwork, is on display through Feb. 28.

The library and The Gallery at Penn College invited students, faculty and staff to upcycle a selection of old books into creative art objects. The result is a presentation of more than 50 inventive pieces.

Students participated in upcycling projects during class time and in open workshops at the library throughout the Fall 2017 semester. Classes led by Thomas E. Ask, professor of industrial design; Dorothy J. Gerring, associate professor of architectural technology; and David A. Stabley, instructor of ceramics and wood sculpture, joined the endeavor.

The display embodies the "civic and social literacy" skill in the PA Forward library initiative.

The collaborative project to repurpose and transform discarded books into objets d’art or useful purposes supports “civic and social literacy,” one of five literacy skills identified by the Pennsylvania Library Association’s PA Forward initiative as essential in powering progress. Madigan Library is participating by engaging in displays, activities and projects that focus on those essential skills (basic literacy, information literacy, civic and social literacy, health literacy, and financial literacy) that strive to benefit not only individual lives, but by developing citizens who are well-informed, engaged and contributing to their communities’ growth.

Madigan Library’s hours are 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 2 a.m. Sundays.

“Old Books/New Lives: The Art of Upcycling” is being held in tandem with “Books Undone: The Art of Altered Books,” a national juried exhibit in The Gallery at Penn College, on the third floor of the library. Five of the student pieces pictured below were awarded with “honorable mentions.”

– Majority of photos by Rachel A. Eirmann, student photographer


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