Friday, May 14, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
In addition to the books and resources to be acquired, I will "weed" a base collection of books and magazines donated by an art collector and patron of the arts who also happens to be a Qatari Sheikh. The collection includes a wide variety of books about art and culture both in the Arab world and abroad. I intend to use this blog to enable others to learn and benefit from the library and collection at AMOMA throughout its evolution from a room full of books into my favorite kind of space: a library.
I'm a bit of a strange character, so here's a little background on me. I am an American librarian. I worked for Brooklyn Public Library in New York City while getting my Master's Degree in Library Science until I made the decision to move to Lusaka, Zambia in 2008.
I helped develop a library for vulnerable children and street children. I had lived in Harare, Zimbabwe in 2003 and longed to return to the region. I kept an infrequent blog of my activities in Zambia because I had no internet access at home or at work. You can find it here: http://www.hllp.blogspot.com. I ended up in Cape Town, South Africa. I was finishing my cultural studies research for an independent study on vulnerable children, attempting to surf, and dreaming of staying forever. Of course, I didn't.
I made a summery return to the States before heading south once again, this time to Buenos Aires, Argentina, a wonderful city. I searched for Latin American artist's books, taught English, met some lovely people, including a few talented artists, and I eventually landed a job as a Cataloging Librarian for a Latin American book company.
As these things often go, I was offered this fantastic professional opportunity in Doha at about the same time Buenos Aires began to feel vaguely like home.
I spent a couple of months visiting friends and family in New York City and my hometown in Pennsylvania, and here I am. Doha is treating me very well thus far. Estoy muy contenta.
In my reading and research on modern and contemporary artists of the Arab world, I learned about Iraqi artist Shakir Hassan Al Said (b. 1925). He created Vagabond Family [pictured] during his transitional phase from figurative to abstract work. Needless to say, it seems like an appropriate work to share in this introduction, although I don't have a family with me. I'm just a vagabond librarian.
It will be a great journey for the vagabond books who will find their home at the AMOMA library. Maybe someday I will find a home, too.