Meet the Mystery Artist Who Left Altered Book Sculptures in All 10 Beach Libraries

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

It started at Princess Anne Area Library in November 2014. Staff found a book sculpture featuring a hot-air balloon and clouds rising from the pages of the classic book "Black Beauty." An anonymous note read, "Dear Princess Anne Library, Books take us places and you make that possible. Thank you."

For the next year, altered book art mysteriously appeared in all 10 Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) branches. Accompanying notes thanked library staffers for their work and touted the importance of libraries, books and reading. The mystery and sentiment of the book sculptures and notes captivated library staff, customers and local media. Finally, a November 2015 Beacon article revealed the sculptor to be award-winning local artist Maggie Kerrigan.

Now, Kerrigan will share her inspiration for donating the book sculptures to the library and her process for creating altered book art on Friday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd. Visit to register.

Following the talk, the Friends of VBPL will host a free reception with Kerrigan featuring light refreshments. Kerrigan will sell copies of her book, "The (almost) Blank Journal: a Daily Journal to Inspire Clarity and Creativity," as well as pieces of her book art, donating 10 percent of proceeds to the Friends of VBPL to support library services. For attendees ages 21 and up, the Friends will offer wine for sale, cash only, $3 per glass. Proceeds of wine sales will support Friends-funded library programs such as the Summer Reading Challenge. For more about the Friends of VBPL, visit

About Virginia Beach Public Library
A community anchor for more than 50 years, Virginia Beach Public Library includes a central library, a joint-use library in partnership with Tidewater Community College, seven area libraries and a public law library. Services include workforce development and job-search support, small business resources, computer and technology classes, early literacy classes and outreach, and local history archives and programs. In addition to books, music, magazines and movies in tangible and digital formats, the library provides online research tools accessible from home or work, and a variety of specialty collections. Visit for more information.

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