When the Delaware Arts Festival Association donated $1,000 to the Delaware County District Library for partnership with the annual downtown festival, its only stipulation was to use the funds for community arts.
With the recent explosion in popularity of adult coloring books, library adult services manager Joe O’Rourke decided an adult coloring book collection was the perfect use of the funds, according to library officials.
Blending non-traditional books and community engagement through coloring, the coloring books will be a circulating collection that patrons can check out and color in. They will eventually be an entire book of masterpieces unique to Delaware County District Library patrons, the library says.
Adult coloring books take the art of traditional children’s coloring books and increase the “difficulty level” by adding many intricate designs that require attention to fine details. In the most recent Publishers Weekly bestsellers list of the top 25 trade paper publications, 11 of those 25 books were adult coloring books.
More than 100 books will be in the collection, consisting of at least 70 unique titles. Popular titles include Johanna Basford’s “Lost Ocean” and “Enchanted Forest” books; the “Stress Less Coloring” series in geometric patterns, joyful patterns, love and mandalas; and books based on pop culture like “Doctor Who,” “Game of Thrones,” “Outlander,” “Harry Potter” and others.
“We’d like to encourage patrons to leave the pages they color in the book, so that when the book has been colored in entirely, it becomes a collection of local art by local artists,” said O’Rourke. “These are meant to be a fun and relaxing addition to the more than 300,000 items the library already owns and circulates.”
Patrons will be able to check out up to two coloring books at a time, and can keep them for up to two weeks. They can use any type of traditional coloring media to design their pages, including colored pencils, crayons and markers. Patrons may also take a book from the library displays and use the colored pencils that will be on hand to color while they are visiting the library.
Programs at the Delaware main library on March 22 and April 6 at 7 p.m. will give adults an opportunity to experience the books firsthand. “Zentangle and Unwind” on March 22 features Cris Letourneau, a certified Zentangle teacher, to teach about the mindful and relaxing process of making art. “Color and Cool Down” on April 6 is a casual get-together for adults to share some snacks, listen to music and enjoy time coloring some stress-relieving patterns.
Patrons are encouraged to share photos of themselves coloring or of their art to Twitter or Instagram, tagging @delawarelibrary and using the hashtag #DCDLcolors. All photos will be entered in a contest to win a pack of 50 colored pencils. One photo will be chosen a week for four weeks, for a total of four winners. Winners will be notified through direct message on the platform where they entered the contest – Twitter or Instagram – and must be able to pick up their prize at any of the library’s four locations, officials said.
For more information, contact Nicole Fowles, library communications manager, at [email protected] or 740-362-3861.