Friday, May 23, 2014

Bibliocraft: The Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects by Jessica Pigza | Book Review

Bibliocraft blew me away!  It was not at all what I was expecting, and I couldn't be happier.  :)  This book is in two parts:  Part I, which showcases all the great resources contained within your public library and how to access them and Part II, which showcases amazing craft projects inspired by library resources with instructions on how to replicate the crafts!

Jessica Pigza is a rare and special books librarian in NYC, and I'm a little jealous.  Her job sounds so cool!  All those really unique and special materials that she gets to work with every day, and I bet she gets some really interesting patron questions and requests too.  (Don't fear; I'm not going to leave my southern teen library services job for the fancy archives of NYC.... but maybe I could work out a visit?  We'll call it "professional development.")  

I love how Jessica really takes her time showing off all the great things that libraries have to offer!  It feels like I'm constantly spouting off at people "you know; you could probably find that at your library! *wink wink nudge nudge*" and I hope I don't annoy my friends when that line slips out.  It feels good to know that there's other people out there who are all proud of their library and it's collections!  And she's not overly abstract about it.  She'll mention vintage sewing patterns and then she lists some of the nation's top libraries to contact for materials and how to go about requesting them, either in person or via Interlibrary Loan.  

Then in Part II, Jessica has assembled a collection of projects from the best of the best of the crafting world.  There's the founder of Design*Sponge, Grace Bonney, and STC Craft authors Natalie Chanin, Heather Ross, Liesl Gibson, and Gretchen Hirsh, all together in one place.  The projects are very unique and they vary in medium, craft, and difficulty level.  The first project in Part II is a little clutch bag that nearly anyone could attempt, even a very novice crafter.  Then there's more advanced projects that may require a little more skill or time, such as an adorable little girls' dress with stuffed kittens to go in the pockets.  Again Jessica shows her librarian stripes when she includes short bibliographies for each project:  which books or materials inspired the project and where to find them and how to go about requesting the materials or copies.

I read the book straight through, cover to cover, but I feel like it's more of a resource.  When read straight through, some bits get a tad repetitious.  But if you were going to look up a specific piece of information, you'd want all parts of the pertinent information right there together, even if it was just covered in the previous chapter.  So that makes sense.  To balance out that tiny complaint, I'll mention that I loved the photographs.  Jessica included many photographs throughout the book of both the materials referenced and the projects themselves.  There's also helpful templates included for any project requiring them.  I found all the craft instructions to be incredibly clear and easy to follow.  I definitely recommend this book to any bibliophile crafters!

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