In the past year and a half, I’ve occasionally received e-mails that my book, Computational Photography, had been added to this or that library. In all that was going on–not just COVID but three cross-country road trips, and a busy roster of photo projects in progress, I haven’t paid much attention to these notifications. I hadn’t sent any book to any libraries, after all, but it seems that some of the curators to whom I had mailed books had submitted them to their institutions’ library for acquisition.
A few days ago I tried to make a list of those libraries–I haven’t found the group of paper letters that came in yet but I did go through my e-mail and I have those.
The list is sort of impressive? (You can see the list at https://www.darinboville.com/books).
It doesn’t matter in any real way in terms of an “art career”–whatever that is–but it is sort of satisfying. When I was a teenager I used to go to the downtown library in Akron, Ohio and look at their well-stocked photobook section. Formative stuff. It’s good to know that my book in some small way may renew that process.
On this same subject, I saw an interview yesterday with David Chickey, the face, and perhaps the soul, of Radius Books. In it he mentioned their donation program–a key feature of Radius since its founding–where Radius donates three hundred copies of each of their titles to libraries across the country. With the financial pressure on libraries, the art books–the most at-risk category of book, i.e. the expensive ones–are usually the first to get cut. The donation program pushes back.
It’s a wonderful idea.