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Teaming up for the library -- BAC art book drive

BAC launches a book drive for a collection on art and architecture.

Bainbridge Art and Crafts is opening a new chapter.

In fact, the gallery is opening a whole new collection of books. BAC will partner with the Bainbridge Library to fill shelves with books on art, architecture and design for a new collection.

“The library itself doesn’t raise specific moneys for specific collections, they raise money for general use,” BAC director Susan Jackson said. “So we can raise money for architecture, art and design books, which is our real interest. So we get the community partnership end, which I think is a really good thing for the gallery – to not be so insular.”

The move to place more art books in the library began when former BAC director Marian Holt McClain offered Jackson the art books belonging to a friend, a former UW professor moving into an assisted living facility.

“And I thought, ‘well, yes,’” Jackson said, “and then I thought, ‘we can’t be a lending library, not on top of everything else we’re doing.’ So that’s what made me think about starting a really first-class collection at the library.”

Jackson approached head of the Bainbridge branch of the Kitsap Regional Library, Cindy Harrison, who was enthusiastic.

The plan to incorporate the books into the Bainbridge branch is modeled after Kingston nursery Heronswood’s collection at KRL. The nursery collects money for KRL to buy gardening books.

The art books will circulate throughout the regional library system, but will be housed on Bainbridge.

“Gail (Goodrich, KRL’s nonfiction collection manager) told me it was appropriate because Bainbridge checks out more art books than any library in the history of KRL,” Jackson said. “So she’s really happy to have it housed here.”

The books will have bookplates that identify them as part of the collection. A brochure and a sign will tell library users that the books are part of a collection that will continue to grow.

“This is an ongoing program for us,” Jackson said. “We will do a book drive a few times a year. I started the current drive just by word of mouth. I told someone, and we got 98 books.”

Any volumes too battered for the library or too out of date will be sold in the upcoming BAC Almost Perfect Sale. Proceeds will go into a book fund to be administered by KRL.

Jackson has applied for a grant for start-up money for the fund.

“Art books are wildly expensive,” she said, so we need some real money in the fund, so every year KRL can buy books.”

The start of a collection of art books is another of the partnerships with island organizations that has become a halllmark of Jackson’s leadership at BAC. It’s a sign that the 56-year-old gallery is once more reinventing itself. Finding ways to extend the gallery’s reach beyond the four walls has become something of a personal mandate for Jackson, she admits.

“The partnerships matter to me,” she said, “because for a long time the gallery was just insular and I like to be part of the larger community. I keep looking around for ways that an art gallery benefits other people other than the people who come in here or the artists that show here.

“What (BAC) gets is to feel good and to publicize it like mad and say we’re good guys. That’s all.”

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Art, architecture

BAC is collecting books on art, architecture, and design for delivery to the Bainbridge library to start an art collection. Cash donations, as well as “gently used” books, may be dropped off at BAC. Call 842-3132 for information.

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