Help us to launch Melbourne Art Library (MAL): a not-for-profit library providing an accessible and specialised collection of art and design books, serials, zines and other publications for use by the local arts community.
We acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nations as the traditional owners of the land on which MAL operates. In our practice we seek to challenge dominant knowledge structures and re-centre indigenous and local voices.
MAL’s aim is to connect emerging practitioners, the art-curious, and established researchers and arts professionals with expensive or hard to access resources; filling a gap between public libraries, university collections, and research libraries. We will have an open-door policy, encouraging collaboration, exploration, and tangential research, and collect texts which may be missed by existing collecting bodies.
We’ve begun building our collection, but we need community support to help us grow and to open a reading room in 2021!
Artists make up some of the lowest paid members of Australian society. The Australia Council for the Arts’ ‘Making Art Work’ report (2017) records the median wage of visual artists for the year 2014-2015 as $34,400, with only $5,200 from ‘creative income’. Artists need resources to develop their work, yet fine art and design publications are some of the most expensive.
By working together and pooling resources, we can provide greater access to focused books and information than many creatives could otherwise access or afford. Through knowledge, MAL will increase the ability of creative practitioners to continue to make meaningful contributions to the community in increasingly uncertain economic times, while encouraging broader engagement with the arts.
More than just building a collection, libraries build communities. MAL will be an accessible space for creatives to meet, exchange ideas, and work together. MAL will encourage curiosity and provide a testing ground for new ideas.
– $500 will cover general and administrative costs
– $3000 will support the preparation and preservation of the collection at international standards of best practice, including acquiring cataloguing software and archival materials
– $10,000 will fund the purchasing of key texts, focusing on those not held in other local collections
– Major gifts will enable us to operate a public reading room, with the amount of funding dictating the scale of the first iteration
The great thing about contributing to MAL is that all resources will remain accessible to the public – you! Even a few dollars will help put more books on our shelves, to be borrowed and shared by our community.
With our city in lockdown, the need for collaboration is now more apparent than ever. Your support will strengthen Melbourne’s rich arts ecology.