MCAD Library
MCAD Library

Visit the MCAD Library to see a cornucopia of visual treasures.


Seeking solace from my roommates in its quiet confines, I remember first becoming acquainted with the library during my first weekend at MCAD. I've always loved libraries—especially college libraries—but I had never been to an art-specific one and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Would it look like a museum bookstore? Would the students be angstily drawing in dark, damp corners? Would there even be fiction?



Upon walking into the library for the first time, I (unsurprisingly) found that none of my prior assumptions were correct. The library had plenty of books—both fiction and art alike. The students I saw seemed pleasant and studious. And genres that I had never dreamed of finding in such abundance, such as graphic novels, literary criticisms, and vintage pamphlets, were everywhere on display.


What's Happening With Momma? by Clarissa Sligh


The main study area is filled with bean bags, desks, couches, and computers. Light therapy boxes and little green plants abound to combat the sometimes dreary Minnesota winter. Across the main area is a room with long, grey stacks of books on academic, esoteric subjects. More private study spaces are found in the back, and sometimes people can be found sleeping on the couches. (Sometimes you can find me sleeping on the couches.) Behind the front desk is a mysterious hidden workspace, from which the library staff confusingly disappear and reappear. Nobody knows what goes on behind the front desk—not even the library staff themselves.



The library itself is actually quite short, with low ceilings that taper upwards and downwards in shallow pyramidal formations. But it doesn’t feel claustrophobic; a line of horizontal windows running along the top of the walls allows streams of sunlight to spill onto the couches and desks and bookshelves, highlighting what typically goes unnoticed. Throughout the library, light and shadow illuminate and conceal.



A designated corner near the front of the library frequently features artwork and installations by students. One of my favorite installations I've seen so far was Nick River's The Catalog. Comprising hundreds of old catalog cards, this cozy yellow hut slash art installation provided me with many happy naps before it was taken down in early February.

The current installation is called Backbone } 1492, a beautiful multimedia showcase of artwork that celebrates "the oppressed, using Black History month as a platform." Check it out while it's up through February 27!


The Catalog by Nick Rivers


Like most places at MCAD, the library can be summed in two words: quirky and cozy. Of course, the library is an incredible literary and artistic resource and provides a wealth of knowledge accessible at our fingertips, but . . . it’s also pretty adorable. There are displays of quirky knick-knacks on top of shelves, and vintage items, like record players, are free for use. And how can you not call the library—a space filled with bean bags, wooden chairs, encyclopedias, and the warm glow of knowledgecozy?



If you're looking for a safe haven on cold winter days, or if you need a bright and quiet place to study, be sure to visit the MCAD library. And for more information on artist books, new arrivals, and up-and-coming installations, check out the MCAD Library on Tumblr!