The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Expanded Collection of Hobby and Craft Books Captures All Interests

May 24, 2013 — Recently, a patron named Carol arrived at the Midtown Carnegie Branch with a cloth bundle that she unfurled to show the staff. It was a brightly colored, full-size quilt with sailboats, frogs, snails and turtles of all patterns and shapes.

Then Carol told us the kicker: It was her first quilt, she made it for her grandson, and she learned how to do the whole thing from books she checked out from the library. You can imagine it made the roomful of librarians just a little bit giddy.

If you find yourself with some extra time this summer for your favorite hobby, or you just want to learn a new one, or you need some cool camp crafts, look for a huge, new collection of craft books hitting the shelves this month.

We purchased them with a recent $10,000 Nonfiction Collection Makeover Grant through the Library Services and Technology Act. As the name implies, grants targeted collections that were lacking in substance or volume. We made the case that our patrons’ use of social media such as Facebook and Pinterest has increased interest in crafts, and one of the most popular genres that our patrons couldn’t find enough of here and borrowed from other places through interlibrary loan were craft and hobby titles.

So now, says Collection Services Librarian Erin Gray, we have an amazing number and variety of craft and hobby books, from beading to painting to sculpture, and in every art medium imaginable. Erin added, “We hope the result will be a refreshing collection to support the art interests of seasoned and emerging artists.”

Some examples:

  • “Sock Art: Bold, Graphic Knits for Your Feet,” by Edelgard Janssen, Ute
  • “Old Time Whittling: Easy techniques for Carving Classic Projects,” by
    Keith Randich
  • “Decorative Stained Glass Designs: 38 Patterns for Beautiful Windows
    and Doors,” by Louise Mehaffey
  • “Simon Leach's Pottery Handbook,”  by Simon Leach with Bruce Dehnert
  • “Watercolor Unleashed: New Directions for Traditional Painting
    Techniques,” by Julie Gilbert Pollard

Want company with other crafters? Find a list of arts-related clubs with some 800-plus other area nonprofits in the 2013-2014 edition of The Directory, published by the library. You can read it or buy one for $10 at any branch, order a copy by calling 616-0567, or see it online at


Kathleen O'Dell
Community Relations Director
(417) 616-0564
Sarah Jane Rosendahl
(417) 616-0566

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