Blogging My Book: Free Design Research Tool!

Although my employment days are long gone, some things haven’t changed. One of them is the recipient of my Most Inspiring Coworker Award. Still goes to a lady named Liz.

I met Liz at a Tucson-based fundraising organization. She was the computer system administrator, and I worked in the publicity and publications office.

Liz wasn’t much of a talker, but she sure was a doer. Her greatest accomplishment? Building her own house. Although Liz had some assistance from family members and hired helpers, most of the construction was a DIY project.

The finished structure was a two-story brick house to which Liz added a single-story apartment. I rented that apartment for nearly 13 years.

Of, course, I had to ask Liz how she learned to build a house. After all, this isn’t the sort of thing that most women know about. Liz’s matter-of-fact answer: “I went to the library.”

Far be it from me to dislike an answer like that one. My parents were avid readers, and, yes, I had Mom’s blessing when it came to browsing through her birdwatching books. Sneaky way to get little Martha interested in reading – and it worked.

Nowadays, I consider myself a slacker if I’m not reading at least two books at once. Suffice it to say that I’m glad that the Pima County Library (PCL) stays well stocked with books.

When it comes to doing research for my own book, I have to hand it to the PCL. Lately, I’ve been looking for book design ideas, and I’ve already gone through my own photo book collection.

Time to use the library’s online catalog, and let me tell you, finding photo books is a breeze. In the PCL catalog, the Subject and Genre I’m searching is “Photography, Artistic,” and it returns 339 results.

Since I can only borrow 50 items at a time, I need to pick and choose. So, I’ve reserved a stack of photo books covering a wide variety of topics, and I’m looking forward to mining them for design ideas.

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