Book Paper Scissors: 12th Annual Artists' Book Fair at Parkway Central Library

By Alina J. RSS Tue, December 3, 2019

On December 7, the Art Department at Parkway Central Library will host the 12th annual Book Paper Scissors event, a fair designed for artists who create book-and paper-based work. As usual, numerous local artists and organizations will be on hand showcasing their work and visitors will be able to browse or purchase items directly from them. The fair is a collaboration with the Philadelphia Center for the Book, a local group that promotes the book arts by providing hands-on workshops and helps make connections between artists working in that medium and the rich holdings in Philadelphia's vast ecosystem of libraries.

In addition to the popular annual fair, the Art Department will team up with the Philadelphia Center for the Book to host a series of free book arts workshops open to anyone who registers in advance. Take a look at the remaining workshops in our 2019-2020 series and stay tuned for a new series starting in Fall 2020.

Our library has a long history of promoting the book arts in addition to this annual fair, free workshops, and exhibits mounted in collaboration with the Philadelphia Center for the Book. The Print and Picture Collection continues to add artist books to its holdings, and they can also be found in our catalog and requested in advance by emailing The Art Department also routinely hosts school groups and collaborates with instructors to create lists of library materials geared to their specific needs. These lists can be found in the Teacher Resources section of our webpage. Take a look at just one of the recent catalog lists we created for students using the library to explore the book arts.  

Visitors to the fair on December 7 will also be able to try some hands-on printing and calligraphy with the Second State Press and the Philadelphia Calligraphers' Society and view several exhibitions throughout the building devoted to the book arts. The Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers has two different displays on the 2nd-floor landing and in the adjacent Art Hallway Gallery, created in collaboration with the Children's Literature Research Collection. The Print and Picture Collection has also mounted two exhibits of artist books, one of which will be accessible on Saturdays until December 8, from its 2nd-floor hallway gallery: The Book as Art: Highlights from the Book Arts Collection. Lastly, if you're planning to visit the Free Library for the Book Paper Scissors fair, head up to the Rare Book Department on the 3rd floor to see the family friendly exhibit Our Five Senses and the revolving selection of treasures on display. 

This year's fair will expand into the brand new Heim Center for Cultural and Civic Engagement and will feature more artist vendors and book arts organizations than ever before. Stop by to see and purchase work by these local artists and learn more about some of the organizations that support them:

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