CALL FOR ARTISTS’ BOOKS AND PRINTED MATTER
Book artists, zinesters, bookish graphic designers, comics drawers, chapbook-penning poets, and printed matter-makers of all stripes are invited to submit books for inclusion in the collection of the Floating Library.
DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: MAY 25
ROLLING NOTIFICATION BY: JUNE 21
DEADLINE FOR MATERIALS: JULY 7
What is the Floating Library? It is a public art project that introduces artists’ books and printed matter to people recreating on an urban lake. Read more about it on the other pages of this site!
What are we looking for? The collection of the Floating Library is focused on books as works of art. This is a slippery definition that librarians and book arts scholars have been trying to nail down forever. To the Floating Library this means:
- artfully crafted zines
- creative comics
- handmade or letterpress printed books and pamphlets
- poetry chapbooks with a considered aesthetic
- commercially printed books designed/made by artists
- bookish sculptural objects
Works designed especially for a lake-based library are encouraged, including waterproof pages, books that can get wet, books that float, etc. Imagine the possibilities!
What are we not looking for?
- commercially available novels, memoirs, short stories, poetry, children’s books, or other literary forms whether self-published or through a press
- artist monographs or exhibition catalogs
- academic books about art, even if the art is awesome
- broadsides and posters even if gorgeously printed (they tend to fly away)
- all the old encyclopedias in your basement
What is the selection criteria?
Content: This year the FL is particularly interested in these themes: immigrant histories and lives, homelands, and relationships to water in all forms. We accept works with all kinds of themes and ideas, however, don’t be discouraged if your book does not address these topics. We’re also interested in kid-friendly artists books.
Unique but durable forms: We love unique book forms and crazy methods of printing and binding. Get creative with the copy machine and book board! Sturdy books and zines tend to fair better due to wind and lake spray. Your 3-foot long accordion fold book may be hard for boaters to read.
Duplicate copies: Due to storage and display space limitations, we can take up to 2 copies of each accepted book. One-of-a-kind books are also welcome! But please note the risks listed below.
Also, please note: Works that are truly inappropriate for a library on a public lake that serves everyone will not be accepted.
What happens to my book / printed matter after the Floating Library ends?
All materials accepted through the Open Call join the collection of the Floating Library. If accepted, you agree to donate your work to the Library in perpetuity.* Works in the collection are shown year after year and become beloved by Library patrons.
*If you have a special circumstance, let’s talk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
DISCLAIMER. By submitting your materials to the Floating Library you acknowledge that any of these things may happen to your printed matter:
- extensive water damage
- stepped on at the bottom of a canoe
- sand between the pages
- borrowed and never returned
- kept in good condition after being enjoyed by many people
SOME MORE FAQ’s
Where is the Floating Library this summer?
Lake Phalen in St. Paul, MN
Saturdays & Sundays , 1 pm – 6 pm
How does the Floating Library work?
The Floating Library is a custom-designed raft with bookshelves built to hold printed matter for perusal on the water. People in canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, skiffs, rowboats, or other watercraft paddle up and browse the shelves from within their boats.
Patrons may check out books to read while at the lake, but must return items either to the Library’s raft of the book deposit box on the beach. Overnight checkouts are not allowed.
The Floating Library is staffed by volunteer librarians who facilitate checkouts and make reading suggestions. (If you are interested in volunteering, email email@example.com)
The check-out system is honor-based, but it’s Minnesota (land of volunteerism and participatory civic engagement) so we hope for the best in this regard. All materials are transported in waterproof bags.