The recent article about graffiti at the University of Chicago Library has finally given me a chance to clear out links in my "to blog" folder.
So, graffiti - when does it cross the line? Graffiti commonly seen in academic libraries can be ugly, but it can also be part of the culture and community of the campus. It's a way for students to communicate with their peers - even those that come years later. That's unique, and interesting.
In the public library world, I more often see graffiti (a.k.a. "annotations") in books. On first blush, it's annoying, but is it really that bad? And in fact, is it a good thing?
These things are not too distant from Web 2.0 tools allowing comments and reviews, really. Same rules apply: leave your opinion for others, don't be offensive, can be removed at any time, etc. The marginalia of life can add a great deal of value to life (just ask a genealogist).
It might not all qualify as "art," and any open forum will attract spam, but that doesn't mean graffiti doesn't offer some unexpected value - it can bring a smile, answer a question, provide experience-based assistance, or just make a connection with an unknown predecessor.
I know this is a never-ending debate, so in the meantime, here are some graffiti- and anti-graffiti-related links I've been collecting:
- Short documentary on reverse graffiti artist
- Braille Graffiti
- Wikiffiti -- stickers that read 
- Is graffiti art or vandalism?
- Art Crimes
- Adidas no.74 concept store (bottom story)
- Laser Tag
- HOWTO paint laser graffiti over whole buildings
- San Francisco mint painted with 7 HD projectors
- Interesting anti-graffiti sign
- City fights illegal gig posters with CANCELLED stickers
- All are welcome to express themselves in the box below
Spam ("Inbox Graffiti")