There's a little nook just outside the 4th floor Kids Room of the Central Library that used to be a phone area when public phones were ubiquitous. However, it's been empty, feeling quite neglected until now! Our resident artist extraordinaire (and library staff), Norola Morgan decided to turn it into a year long, interactive art exhibit.
We asked Norola a few questions about the Telephone Room and here's what she had to say:
Q. What type of art projects interest you?
A. We all have hidden super powers and it just so happens that mine is making things. I started out drawing, then progressed to painting, and now I use paper, fabric, paint, and found objects to make all kinds of things. For library art projects, I primarily use paper because we always have a lot of it around! My other secret super power is seeing the creative potential in just about everything. This can be good or bad, as it can lead to hoarder-like tendencies that can potentially stress out coworkers, friends and family. But mostly, it’s good, because it means that I get to transform things that are drab, unused and unwanted, into things of use and beauty that everyone can enjoy.
Q. What inspired you to transform the Telephone Room?
A. I noticed the small, empty room on the 4th floor just outside the Kids area, that most people walk by without ever realizing that it's there. It is called the Telephone Room, presumably because it once held at least one telephone, but now sits, for the most part, unused. It is tiny, slightly less than 36 square feet, but, in my eyes, it holds huge potential. So I adopted it and will be activating it with a year of fun, vibrant art installations.
Q. What are your plans for the Telephone Room?
A. It's called "The Telephone Room: Portal to Imagination!” Every few months, library customers and staff can look forward to a unique work of art that will promote literacy, creativity, and library programs. Make sure to stop by and participate in story times, crafts and activities that tie into the theme.
Q. What would you like our library customers to know about the project?
A. My colleagues and I would like input from our customers - parents, kids, caregivers, to tell us what they would like to see the room become. We ask that when you visit, do pick up a survey from the Kids Room and give us your feedback. As the project progresses, we plan to do hands-on activities to bring the room to life. We would also like the room to be more interactive. It's a cozy and intimate space, perfect for reading. Children find these types of niches appealing. We may decide to place some mats and add theme specific activities. The first installation is ready and it is all about the ABCs! Imagine checking out one of the ABC books on display in the Kids Room and taking it into this magical room, filled with brightly colored letters hanging out on a coconut tree and reading it with your child.
We invite to come by and explore the new “The Telephone Room”. The current exhibit will be on display for a few more weeks. March will feature the work of an author who created whimsical worlds and had a witty way with words. His birthday is March 2 (hint, hint). Hang onto your hat, and just imagine all the places you will go!