The field of artists' books has grown exponentially over the last 30 years. The range of subject matter and context held within it includes that of many practitioners and curators who use the artist's book as a means of exploring our relationship with 'traditional' books and libraries. This enriches debate and adds value to our understanding of the physical book as a cultural artefact that still has meaning. Despite funding cuts, libraries remain a place of sanctuary and contemplation offering free access to learning. Rather than existing in a vacuum as a symbol of cultural status, the physical book retains its currency as a tool for sharing ideas and for intimate, unintimidating participation in learning. As artist Andi McGarry says: "no-one is scared of picture books”. This paper has been translated into French and will be delivered at the conference by Anne Béchard-Léauté of the Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne.