East Waco Library art books

East Waco Library branch manager Kimber Harlan looks through a book from the Art Center of Waco collection, which is on loan to the library during the Art Center’s move to a new building.

The East Waco Library will have a little extra to offer anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of art through books over the next few months, thanks to a collection on loan from the Art Center of Waco’s library.

The Art Center of Waco has handed over some 800 books from its art library to the East Waco Library, 901 Elm Ave., while awaiting building renovation at its new location on South Eighth Street. Art Center director Claire Sexton said the idea for making the art books available for public viewing came last year as the center was moving out of its former home on the edge of the McLennan Community College campus.

Structural damage in that building forced its evacuation and left Art Center officials looking to move. Rather than box the center’s book collection and put into storage, then-director Meg Gilbert explored the possibility of loaning them to the East Waco Library, as part of the center’s mission to promote art education, Sexton said.

Most of the books on loan are art history books and biographies. The varying sizes of many art books, some oversized to accommodate illustrations, have presented a small challenge in putting them on regular library shelves, said Waco-McLennan County Library Director Essy Day.

In addition to the size of the individual books, the collection itself is large, Day said.

“We cannot display all the books at one time, so we will rotate the ones on display,” she said.

Art books

The East Waco Library has about 800 art books on loan from the Art Center of Waco. It only has shelf space to display about a third of the books at a time and will rotate them every three months.

Since the Art Center owns the books and not the Waco library system, library card holders will not be able to check them out. Library users can take the books in at the library and can make arrangements with the Art Center if they want to take them elsewhere.

The loaner books also are not catalogued or indexed, which would allow readers to find a specific book on the shelf or in storage boxes.

The art books now fill three long shelves in the library and will rotate them every three months. The collection will remain at the library through Oct. 1, and the next rotation to fresh books on the shelves will come in April.

Tribune-Herald entertainment editor

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