Archive for May, 2017

50th Anniversary of NEH at ALA 2016

In recognition of the Endowment’s ongoing support of libraries, the American Library Association’s 2016 Annual Conference celebrated the Endowment’s fiftieth anniversary with a special session that highlighted the NEH-funded Great Stories Club project. The event featured March, the first in the graphic novel trilogy created by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. The novel tells the remarkable story of Lewis’s childhood in Alabama through his early student activism and brings to life the nonviolent movement he helped to lead more than fifty years ago. At the event, NEH Chairman William Adams emphasized the vital role libraries play in our democracy: “There is no democracy without the act of memory.” He encouraged libraries to continue to preserve and share the history of the civil rights movement. Congressman Lewis shared stories about growing up on a sharecropping farm and his important civil rights leadership. He described how, as a child, he was not given a library card, a privilege only afforded to white patrons at his library. He asked the 1,000 librarians in attendance to “keep the faith” and to dedicate themselves to equality and inclusion for all, “Through information—through books—we must find a way to set down the burden of hate.” Aydin discussed his early political work and his passion for presenting Lewis’s biography as a graphic novel after reading the 1957 comic book, Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story. Powell described his personal connections to the story and his work as an illustrator. A book signing with Lewis, Aydin, and Powell followed the event.

A full-day workshop was held during the conference for recent Great Stories Club grantees and featured project scholars Maria Sachiko Cecire, Director of Experimental Humanities and Assistant Professor of Literature, Bard College, NY; Nick Higgins, Director of Outreach Services, Brooklyn Public Library; and Laura Rogers, Director of the Writing Center and Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Titles in this round of the Great Stories Club, The Art of Change: Creation, Growth, and Transformation, include: Buck: A Memoir, by M.K. Asante; The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie; and Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi.

The Great Stories Club provides at-risk teens the opportunity to read, reflect, and share ideas on topics that resonate with them. Through local libraries, the program brings accessible and thought-provoking literature selected by humanities scholars to youth struggling with difficult issues like incarceration, violence, and poverty. Organized by the American Library Association (ALA) the program has reached 700 libraries in forty-nine states and more than 30,000 young adults (ages twelve to twenty-one) since 2006. In 2015, ALA received an NEH grant to continue programming at an additional 225 sites around the country. Each reading and discussion program includes works of young adult literature—novels, memoirs, and graphic novels—and the current themes are 1) Media (how young people interact with mass entertainment and information systems), 2) Change (how individuals experience voluntary and involuntary change), and 3) Violence (the roots and consequences of violence).

May 28, 2017 at 8:24 pm Leave a comment

Libraries and Summer Food Programs: An Intellectual Freedom Argument

Image result for summer lunch at library

John “Mack” Freeman writes,

there is an argument to be made that engaging in summer food programs helps libraries fulfill their mission as agents and protectors of intellectual freedom.”

Read at the Intellectual Freedom Blog of the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association.

May 27, 2017 at 2:47 am Leave a comment

U.S. library public programming: Understanding & documenting characteristics, audiences, outcomes and value.

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office has received a $512,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for a research project to understand and document the characteristics, audiences, outcomes and value of U.S. library public programming.

“Libraries have expanded from collection holders and lenders to centers for lifelong experiential learning, hubs for civic and cultural gatherings, and partners in community-wide innovation. Although data has been gathered for usage, popularity and the match of programs to community need for decades, contemporary data-gathering must be expanded and integrated into programs to illustrate 21st-century impact,” said ALA President Julie Todaro. “This initiative will give us the data we need to better understand the critical impact of library programming and prepare future generations of library professionals to excel in this work.”

The project, National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment (NILPPA): Phase I, will implement the first research recommendation that came out of an IMLS National Leadership planning grant in 2014. To read the December 2014 NILPPA white paper, visit http://nilppa.newknowledge.org/.

The first-of-its-kind project, conducted in collaboration with New Knowledge Organization think tank, will bring together a network of researchers, practitioner-researchers, and advisors to answer two research questions: How can we characterize and categorize public programs offered by libraries today? And what competencies and training are required for professionals working with library programming?

A series of surveys will be disseminated to library practitioners to help map the existing landscape of library public programming, including program types, topics, formats, audiences, partner relationships and current competencies, and also to identify those skills required in the field that, perhaps, are not being adequately taught in formal learning settings.

NILPPA: Phase I is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant number LG-96-17-0048-17.

May 25, 2017 at 4:14 am Leave a comment

How public libraries help build healthy communities

A reason public libraries are seen as such important third-place institutions is that they and their librarians have gradually taken on other functions well beyond lending out books. In many communities, librarians are also ad hoc social workers and navigators. They help local people figure out the complexities of life, from navigating the health system to helping those with housing needs. This “go-to” role has influenced library programming and events, with libraries providing advice and connections to health, housing, literacy, and other areas….

“public libraries are dynamic, socially responsive institutions, a nexus of diversity, and a lifeline for the most vulnerable among us.”

May 20, 2017 at 1:15 am Leave a comment


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 79 other followers

Archives

Calendar

May 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jul »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

%d bloggers like this: