Dr. Greta Golick is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. She teaches the foundation courses in the Book History and Print Culture Collaborative Program and a bookmaking workshop at the iSchool.
Her doctoral research centred on a bookbindery in a nineteenth-century Ontario town. She is an active member of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild and Designer Bookbinders.
Making Booxs: iSchool Students De/Construct the Book
“Full knowledge cannot be transferred solely through the sharing of information; it must be kept alive and passed on through the experience of making.” – Daniel Charny, “Thinking of Making,” in Power of Making; The Importance of Being Skilled, ed. Daniel Charny (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2011), 10.
Although media report that the sales of printed books are falling behind the sales of e-books people are engaging with the physical book in new ways, refashioning and constructing books as personal expressive forms. Printed pages become objets d’art, transformed into vases, dresses, bags, placemats, sculptures, and ornaments. Readers of current how-to books are encouraged to create artful journals, using simple tools, art supplies, and ephemera. To address this new penchant for creating and exchanging ideas and projects many libraries and museums are developing “makerspaces” equipped with computer software and hardware, cameras, 3D printers, and more traditional tools for a variety of arts and crafts.
How can we best prepare archivists, curators, and librarians for their future roles as custodians of knowledge and cultural memory and as facilitators of makerspaces? How can they experience the significance of the material book through its history and explore its new directions as an art object? This paper describes an innovative 6-week workshop conducted at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto that fosters a deep engagement with the book in its material form from traditional codex books to artists’ books using the collections of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library to discover the physical book and its boundaries. The workshop successfully integrates making, knowledge, and the book. By making books, students experience new connections between the work of their hands, the work of their minds, and the book as text, object, and art. This paper will outline the structure of the workshop and highlight images and models of books de/constructed by the students.