Friday, February 4, 2011

Getting to Know Us: Museum Library

This week's blog post is from Frank Thomson, the Museum's Curator, who also organizes the Museum Library:

“Visiting this museum is always a treat, and the library is exceptional.”

This is a note left in the comment book by a visitor this winter. It highlights one of the important, but quieter, programs at the Asheville Art Museum, the Frances Mulhall Achilles Library. The library is located by the stairs leading up to the second floor. It features books, catalogs, magazines, videos and art images. All of this material is searchable in a computer catalog.

On February 3, 2011, the library celebrated an important milestone; the nine thousandth item was added to the catalog.

The Asheville Art Museum’s library is one of the largest resources of art publications in the region and is regularly used by staff, visitors, students and scholars. While the materials do not circulate, the Museum has a Teachers’ Resource Center that allows area school teachers to check out materials for use in the classroom.

Also thanks to a grant from Progress Energy, the library includes three computers with Internet access for further art research.

The success of the library is due to many supporters who have donated materials, but in particular to a small group of dedicated volunteer librarians. The current group consists of Leah Karpen, Fran Myers, Meg Miles and Martha Shepard. Most Thursday mornings find this dedicated and hard working group in the library cataloging new materials, re-shelving books and other tasks needed to maintain the library as the important resource that it is.

The library is free to Members or with paid admission, so check it out the next time you are in the Museum. If you are here on a Thursday morning, say hello to the librarians, they always love visitors.

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