It’s interesting (and perhaps ironic) that after frantically searching for any research on art in public libraries for my thesis, I run into this a couple of days after I turn in my final draft.
The “Library as Incubator Project” looks at the other end of the research question that I looked at. Instead of asking how art in libraries affects the patrons, it looks at how art in libraries affects artists. I love this. I’m also working on my “reasons statement” for a doctoral program, and I’ve decided that my focus should really be on content creation in public libraries. Most forward-thinking libraries know that content creation is where libraries are going–or need to go–to stay relevant.
I was thinking of doing a dissertation looking at the empathetic/ethical effect of videogames vs. other types of informational media like books & films. And I still love that idea. It’s so important to know what outcomes librarians are facilitating when they buy particular media or hosting particular programs. But I’m even more intrigued by the creative possibilities of libraries as labs or, as these UW Madison SLIS researchers put it, incubation space.
This also makes me really want to go to SLIS and work with these researchers. I am torn between SOIS, SLIS and looking further afield at Ann Arbor and Champaign-Urbana. I don’t know how much upheaval I want to rain down on my family, and SLIS is closest to home. With the discovery of this awesome art/library connection in Madison, it’s suddenly looking even more appealing. Now if I could just get in…and funded…