Midwest Annual Meeting – Save the Date!

It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for: The Midwest Chapter is having an Annual Meeting! Please save the date: August 12, 2023 at The Bindery in Milwaukee, WI.

Join us for camaraderie, workshops, and a tour of the historic book manufactory turned modern day creative laboratory for book, print, and literary art in Milwaukee. 

Registration and schedule details will be made available soon; in the meantime, check out some nearby accommodations. We hope you can join us!

Very close (2 mins drive):

Kinn Guesthouse https://kinnguesthouse.com/bayview-gatherings/

Muse Gallery Guesthouse https://www.themuseguesthouse.com/ 

Within 10 mins drive, Downtown MKE:

Homewood Suites: https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/mkedohw-homewood-suites-milwaukee-downtown/

Cambria Hotel: https://www.choicehotels.com/wisconsin/milwaukee/cambria-hotels 

Holiday Inn Express: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/milwaukee/mkeem/hoteldetail 

Within 10 mins drive, MKE Airport:

Courtyard by Marriott: https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/mkecy-courtyard-milwaukee-airport/overview/

Sleep Inn & Suites: https://www.choicehotels.com/wisconsin/milwaukee/sleep-inn-hotels/wi186?mc=llgoxxpxHoliday Inn: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/milwaukee/mkela/hoteldetail


Modern Renaissance – Submissions are open


Members who submitted an Intent to Enter are now invited to submit their entries for Modern Renaissance, the 2023 Virtual Member Exhibition of the Midwest Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. Use the form linked above to submit up to two entries.

The entry period closes on June 15, 2023. Please reach out to midwest [at] guildofbookworkers [dot] org with questions!

Modern Renaissance – Entry Info Update

Hello entrants! Thanks for submitting your intent to enter Modern Renaissance, our 2023 Midwest GBW virtual exhibit.

Nothing is required of you yet; we just wanted to send a reminder of the timeline so you can plan accordingly.

  • Entries will be accepted online between May 1-31, 2023. Image and submission requirements will be sent to registered entrants before May 1.
  • The exhibition will launch in July of 2023 and remain online indefinitely.

And a reminder of some requirements:

  • Entrants must be current members of the Midwest Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. Join the Guild here: https://guildofbookworkers.org/membership
  • Limit of two entries per person, please.
  • Registration fee will be $10 for the first item entered, and $5 for the second item. Fees will be collected at the time of submission and support setting up a dedicated online gallery space.
  • At least one entry may not have been exhibited previously.

We’re looking forward to seeing your submissions! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

Greetings, Midwest Members!

After a hiatus that pre-dates the pandemic, the Midwest Chapter is awakening again. Autumn is truly upon us and I hope you’re all having a good harvest – at work, at home, in an actual field, or wherever life finds you. I wanted to share some updates from the chapter board.

I recently attended the Standards of Excellence seminar in Decatur, Georgia, and it was fantastic to see old and new friends. And that vendor room! There really is no substitute for the galvanizing effect a group of like-minded people meeting in person can have. To that end, I’ve returned with a renewed spirit and am looking forward to seeing where we take this chapter. 

Earlier this year we sent a poll to Midwest members about what kind of activities you’d like to participate in. Of the 83 members we had at that time, 29 responded. Here’s the chart of responses:

Not surprisingly, folks are burnt out on virtual activities and would like to see more in person events. Exhibitions are also high on the list, and there’s interest in the return of in-person annual meetings, both which I’m excited about. We may not have the funding to acquire the technical expertise needed to host hybrid events just yet, but it’s something we can keep in mind for the future.

Speaking of funding, if you received and read the most recent national Guild newsletter, you’ll have seen our annual report. We took in membership revenue as per usual, but had no outlay once again. Several years of no expenses led to a healthy balance for our chapter. Some of this money recently funded two scholarships to Standards, awarded to James Ojascastro at Washington University in St. Louis, and Rachel Payne at North Bennet Street School in Boston (a Midwest native). Even after supporting these students, we are still in good shape to plan.

The Midwest Board will be meeting soon to decide on what’s next. We recently held a virtual Tips & Tricks session, led by Danielle Creech and attended by about a dozen members. It was great to see faces, hear voices, and learn about tools and techniques from everyone who presented. Thank you to those who attended and presented – it’s a small step, but one we’ll use to propel us to the next guild event – and the next one, and the next one. Stay tuned.

At your service,

Lisa Muccigrosso, Chair

PS – We have a member mailing list! It’s midwestmembers [at] guildofbookworkers [dot] org. Any member can post to the list; we just ask that you abide by the Guild’s Code of Conduct when doing so. Think of it like a regional Book-Arts-L listserv.

Midwest Annual Meeting 2017

This year, we will be gathering in Bloomington, Indiana, April 7-8, 2017. Home to Indiana University and Breaking Away, there is a lot to do and much to see! Continue to check in with the website as event details are updated.

Registration is now open. To register, email: kharding(at)charlestonlibrarysociety(dot)org

We hope you join us! Lodging information is at the end of this post.

F R I D A Y,  A P R I L  7 th

1:00-2:00pm. E. Lingle Craig Preservation Lab Tour
Auxiliary Library Facility
851 North Range Rd, 47408

Tour the building for a behind the scenes look at the preservation lab that treats book and paper materials from the Indiana University collections. The lab is home to general collections conservation, paper conservation, automated box-making, and special collections conservation and exhibit prep.

FOR PARKING: Please park in the ST labeled parking spaces (directly east of the ALF facility). Do not park in the EM-S spaces.     To find the lab: Enter the front doors into the vestibule. On the east wall, the left side as you face into the lab, there is a phone to ring into the work areas. Select the button marked “Preservation” then press the “Call” button to ring the Preservation Lab. A staff member will meet you at the door.

3:00-4:00pm. Lilly Library Collection Highlights
Lilly Library, Slocum Room
1200 E. 7th St, 47405

We have curated a selection of materials from the vast holdings of the Lilly Library. This is a unique opportunity to see some amazing items including: fine bindings, artists’ books, and historic materials selected especially for our group.

FOR PARKING: Parking is strictly enforced on campus, however, there are two paid lots near the library. The Lilly Library will validate your parking ticket for a reduced rate. The Indiana Memorial Union lot. Visit this page for more info.

4:00-4:30pm. Registration
Lilly Library, Slocum Room
1200 E. 7th St, 47405

We will have a table set up 30 minutes before the lecture. The rest will be handed out at the annual meeting on Saturday morning.

4:30-6:00pm. Lecture with Jim Canary
Lilly Library, Slocum Room
1200 E. 7th St, 47405

Dinner on your own


S A T U R D A Y,  A P R I L  8 th

All events on Saturday will take place at the E. Lingle Craig Preservation Lab Tour & Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF). 851 North Range Rd, 47408.

8:30-9:00am Breakfast

Come enjoy a light breakfast of bagels, coffee, and juice before we start our busy day together.

9:00-10:00am. ANNUAL MEETING

Join us for the reason we all come together this weekend! Give your input on the Chapter’s activities and learn the plans for the coming year.

10:00am-4:00pm. Workshops

Pick from one of two workshop options. Both workshops cost $70.00 plus individual supply fees, listed below. A few audit spots are available for $30.00 once workshops fill.

Awl Shapes and Sizes with Brien Beidler.(left image) Supply fee $15.
The Conductive Book with Mary Uthuppuru. (right image) Supply fee $20.
Full descriptions here.

12:30-1:15pm. Lunch

Lunch is on us! The chapter will cater lunch this year. Menus will be sent with registration confirmation.

6:30pm. Dinner

Location: TBA


S U N D A Y,  A P R I L  9 th

No activities are planned. However, there are several fantastic breakfast and brunch options in town! See below for a few…

Runcible Spoon Cafe & Restaurant. 412 E 6th St.
Uptown Cafe. 102 E. Kirkwood Ave.
The Village Deli. 409 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Scholars Inn Bakehouse. On College Ave. on the square and by Target on E. 3rd st.
Scenic View. 4600 S. State Rd. 446
Feast Bakery Cafe. 581 E. Hillside
Btown Diner. 211 N. Walnut St
Bloomington Bagel Company (BBC).
425 E. Kirkwood; 238 N. Morton St.; 913 S. College Mall Rd; 1318 E. 3rd St.
Farm Restaurant. 108 E. Kirkwood Ave.
The Owlery Restaurant (Vegan and Vegetarian). 118 W. 6th St.

Coffee and baked goods
Soma Coffee House & Juice Bar. 322 E. Kirkwood; 1400 E. 3rd St.; 1815 E 10th St.
Rainbow Bakery (vegan). 201 S. Rogers St.
Hopscotch Coffee. 235 W Dodds St. Stw 102.



The weekend’s events will take place at the Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF) and on campus at the Lilly Library on Friday, and at the ALF and Downtown Bloomington on Saturday.

Bloomington is a small town so anywhere you stay will be convenient! Visit the Visitors Bureau website for a list of hotels and B&Bs!

Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF)
851 North Range Road, Bloomington, IN 47408

Lilly Library
1200 E Seventh Street, Bloomington, IN 47405

“Downtown” Bloomington

Annual Meeting Workshops 2017

April 7-8, 2017
Bloomington, Indiana

There are many fun things that happen as a part of the annual meeting weekend. Possibly the most favorite events are the workshops. Members can register for one of two workshop opportunities that will take place on Saturday, April 8. This years instructors are tool maker and and trade binding enthusiast, Brien Beidler of Beidler Made, and nature + science + all-things-book fan, Mary Uthuppuru of Spring Leaf Press.

Registration for the workshops and the rest of the weekend’s events will be announced soon, but in the meantime, read more about the great class options below.
View full weekend schedule here.


Workshop Option 1

Awl Shapes and Sizes with Brien Beidler

Beidler Workshop

Awls are easily one of the most identifiable and essential tools in the bookbinder’s kit, and also one of the most versatile. The usefulness of an awls hardly needs explaining, and unlike bone folders their form immediately suggests their primary function, i.e. poking!

From basic hewing, filing, and sanding to fitting ferrules and riveting, this one-day workshop will cover a variety of incarnations of awl construction and materials, and the techniques to help you make an awl that meets all your needs.

N.B. Many of the steps involved in making awls require hand strength and stamina. That being said, awls can be kept extremely simple at no cost to their function. Students are encouraged to bring work gloves.

Brien Beidler began learning traditional hand bookbinding under the tutelage of Marie Ferrara in 2009, while he was a student at the College of Charleston. From 2012-2016 he served as the Director of the Bindery and Conservation Studio at the Charleston Library Society, where he oversaw the conservation of their collection and various other binding projects. He has since moved with his wife to Bloomington, Indiana, where he works from his home studio.

Over the last seven years he has taken a variety of bookbinding and conservation workshops, and is an active member of the Guild of Book Workers and the American Institute for Conservation.  After meeting Jim Croft and becoming his biggest fan in the Fall of 2012, Brien has been obsessed with rediscovering old-world book technologies and materials.  He enjoys reading about bookbinding history, working on his own bindings, making hand tools for bookbinding, and going to the flea market to buy old hand tools for making more hand tools.


Workshop Option 2

The Conductive Book with Mary Uthuppuru

Uthuppuru Workshop

Developments in technology have driven the history of the book for decades. From chisel to computer, our tools for recording our thoughts and images have advanced in response to our needs. Following that evolution, this workshop will feature soft circuitry as a means to create or accent book content. We will explore the basics of circuitry by creating small projects using various conductive materials. The concepts we learn in class can be used to highlight a design element or reveal hidden information within a book, box, or two dimensional format. All skill levels are welcome!

Mary Uthuppuru creates artist books, bindings, boxes, and prints inspired by science, literature and travel. After receiving a BA in Art History and a Masters in Library Science with a specialization in rare books she closely studied the history of the book accompanied by training through workshops across the country.  Mary began working as a Conservation Technician at the Lilly Library in 2007, and gained an in-depth study of book structures and their repair under the direction of the head of Conservation. As of 2010, she began her career as a full time book artist and book binder under the name Spring Leaf Press at her home studio in Bloomington, Indiana. Mary continues to exhibit work nationally and internationally, and teaches workshops throughout the country.