The history of libraries acting as galleries dates back centuries. Savvy libraries realized that displaying art and artifacts could increase their value to their communities.
For instance, Walton-Defuniak Public Library has long displayed a historic weapons collection that originally belonged to Professor Kenneth Bruce of Palmer College. The collection, which includes weapons from medieval Europe, Asia and 18th century Kentucky, helps draw curious visitors.
Whether a small collection or a single piece, permanent installations enhance spaces in a way that’s appealing, easy to maintain and informative.
Creating rotating exhibits involves more work, especially for libraries that want to construct a specially designed gallery area.
However, temporary shows keep the art fresh, help attract new patrons and give regular patrons another reason to come back.
Library gallery exhibits benefit everyone, including artists who receive greater exposure for their work, and hopefully an increase in sales.
Art Lending Programs
In addition to exhibitions, many libraries have art lending programs, often focused on framed art reproductions. These programs allow patrons to check out a piece of art and keep it for a specific length of time.
Support Florida Libraries as Galleries With Your FEL Gale Resources
To learn more about Florida Libraries as Galleries or to share your library's resources or experiences on this topic, contact Karen Joslin at [email protected].