Re: Framed Art collections?

Jim Scholtz (
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 11:51:46 -0600 (MDT)

Hi Julie, here at the Yankton (SD) Community Library we have a circulating
collection of about 35 art prints. We circulate them for 2 months with 1
renewal period. We do not buy new prints every year - most of the
collection is framed, 4 are unframed and laminated for hanging in
children's rooms. Since the collection is rather old and, except for the
12 new art prints we purchased last year, nothing new has been added,
circulation for that collection has been low and stagnant. We are in the
process of adding high-profile wall hanging racks to display our
collection and other prints, so maybe this will help. In previous
positions, the AV Dept. has also had extensive art/sculpture collections
that circulated quite well. The Elkhart (IN) Public Library had (has) a
great collection of art prints with APs in the branches as well. The
Decatur (IL) Public Library had a singnificant AP collection and a good
sculpture collection , but the sculpture collection has been discontinued
because lack of vendors who supply sculpture. (We used to purchase from
Alva Art). We purchase prints from Elyria Arts (OH) and Redpath Art. The
St. Joseph County Public Library (South Bend, IN) has a good collection of
APs as well. Personally, I know that selection is a hassle as is
circulation (buying padded bags, dealing with damage and all - taking
pictures and putting them in an album for patron reference, getting
information on the artist/painting, etc.), but where else could a patron
borrow/rent an item such as this? We had churches, businesses,
organizations and patrons check them out for a wide variety of reasons.
I can understand eliminating a collection like sculpture because of lack
of vendors - possible damage and problems in restoration for that damage,
but art prints are relatively easy (not restoration). I think this is the
perfect niche collection for libraries. I know it involves headaches for
catalogers and shelvers; circulation is difficult and storage/display
requires lots of wall space/special shelving, but I think it's worth it if
your patrons want it (meaning they ask for them and circulation is good
with an existing collection). I would suggest contacting the libraries
that I just mentioned if you don't get a good response over this list. I
know this isn't what you wanted to hear though... JCS.

On Tue, 26 Aug 1997, Julie Spiegler wrote:

> To all public librarians - Does your library circulate framed art and/or
> sculptures? I have to do a quick survey for my director to justify why
> the Audiovisual Department doesn't need to be circulating our 22-year old
> art collection. Thanks for your help!
> Julie Spiegler, AV Dept. Head
> Kanawha County Public Library
> 123 Capitol Street
> Charleston WV 25301
> 304-343-4646 (x284)