What is a Lending Library?
Historically, many public libraries, art societies and museums around the country would lend out reproductions and multiples to their patrons. More common in Europe than in the United States, today’s lending libraries are alternative models for experiencing art, frequently embodying ideals of democratic cultural access, community, and intellectual and creative engagement. Taking inspiration from successful models in cities such as Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, and Berlin, we believe that the Beltway region deserves an art lending library of its own.

What is the goal of a Beltway Public Works Lending Library?
The Lending Library seeks to become a dispersed, people’s museum of the national capital region, championing the role of contemporary art in the lives of Beltway residents by making challenging, inventive artworks available for short-term loan.

How can I participate?
If you are interested in borrowing artworks, click HERE
If you are interested in lending artworks, click HERE
If you are interested in partnering with us, please email us at beltwaypublicworks@gmail.com

What kind of artwork is available for me to borrow?
Small sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, collage, and printmaking. All work is by artists who represent the Beltway region – either currently, or previously, living working or playing inside the Beltway.  To view a catalog of current Library artworks please click HERE

What is the membership fee?
At this time, borrowing from our collection is free of charge.  However, we are in our launch phase, and welcome donations or partnerships that allow us to continue this initiative.

Can I purchase a work that I borrow?
Yes! If you simply can’t live without a work that you have borrowed, please contact us at beltwaypublicworks@gmail.com.  If the work is for sale, we will facilitate the transaction between you and the artist directly.​

How long is the borrowing period?
At this time, we have two six month borrowing periods: FALL and SPRING.  Registered borrowers will be contacted with available artwork selections and additional procedural information 14 days prior to the start of each borrowing period.

Are there other expectations?
It is expected that library patrons will protect all artwork against damage, and return artwork in a timely manner at the end of a given lending period.*

What happens after I submit work for consideration for the collection?
BPW  will review submissions quarterly, and accept or decline work based on available resources and how well the artwork(s) correspond to our goals.  If you are accepted into the collection, you will be contacted by BPW and asked to sign a loan agreement or donation form.

What length of time are am I committing to?
We ask that artworks accepted as loans be lent for a period of at least one calendar year.  At this time our borrowing cycle is six months, which allows your work to be borrowed at least twice.

Will my work be safe?
At this time we are able to insure work that is lent through our program.  However, please remember that this is a trust-based system, and that, while rare, instances of damages may occur. If damage does occur, we will contact you promptly to figure out next steps.