Bibliocraft: A Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects, by
Talk about a fun book! Jessica Pigza is a rare book librarian and crafty blogger at the New York Public Library. She keeps dropping the names of my favorite designers, like Heather Ross, Gretchen Hirsch, and Mary Corbet. I would like her job, please.
Library collections, especially collections of older books full of public-domain images and patterns, are wonderful sources of inspiration if you're an artistic type. Pigza spends the first half of the book showing the reader how to access all this wonderful stuff, and the second half has various small projects by popular designers, along with their inspirations. The projects weren't really my favorite, but then I am not actually much of a crafter; I do sewing, mostly of quilts or other particular things.
The library information is wonderful. Pigza explains the different types of libraries and where to find what you're looking for. She given a nice run-down on library organization and the basics of Dewey vs. Library of Congress, and explains subject headings and how to make them work for you. She also provides a quick explanation about copyright in the US and avoiding trouble. And THEN, there's a lovely massive list of online library collections that will have you happily browsing for months.
The Biodiversity Library's flickr stream of old biology prints!
The British Library's tour of illuminated manuscripts!
Children's books from the 17th-20th centuries!
And so much more.