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Library readies for annual Altered Books event

September 18, 2013

No, you won't get into trouble for drawing on these library books.

Creative types are invited to pick up an old book at the Marshalltown Public Library and turn it into a work of art for the library's third annual Altered Books event.

An altered book is any book, old or new, that has been transformed by creative means. Books can be painted on, cut apart, collaged, folded into careful patterns, made into sculpture or even turned into functional objects like clocks or purses. There are no rules about how to alter the books.

Article Photos

Pictures are altered books created last year by Bryton Bills, Kathy Holtsclaw and Gavin Bogue.

"I know it's hard for many book lovers to imagine cutting up a book," librarian Katie Fink said, "but these are old, unwanted books that would otherwise end up being recycled. Turning an old medical book or a 2008 encyclopedia volume into a piece of decorative or functional art gives it a chance at a new life."

Participants can sign up and select their book at the library's Information Desk beginning Sept. 23. Altered books are due back to the library by Oct. 22. All works of art will be on display at an Oct. 23 reception, which is open to the public and a great chance to page through the books up close.

Questions can be directed to Fink at the library, 641-754-5738 ext. 4.



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