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Posts Tagged ‘theater’

The goal of my research this semester was to somehow bring together teens, libraries, and the arts with a proposal of how the principles of Library 2.0 could play a part in that.

Multiple studies have found the same evidence time and time again – an education in the arts undoubtedly increases the learning capacity and literacy of students. Every library’s mission statement includes some level of dedication to improving literacy and encouraging the pursuit of lifelong learning. I found several non profit arts for literacy type groups working toward community partnerships with schools, but I was hoping to find a great number of libraries involved with these efforts or creating their own. I didn’t find what I was hoping for, and I’d like to see that change.

Libraries are now faced with a great challenge when it comes to bringing young adults in. Teens often don’t think of libraries as that ‘third space’ that they’re looking for. So, how can the arts help with this? Studies show that the arts help create that ‘third space’ type atmosphere that often alludes schools and libraries.

Take a look at Imaginon in North Carolina and you’ll get an idea of what is possible if we really want it. Granted they had the money to do a lot, but even small libraries can create similar environments with programming and community partnerships.

What can you do to help?

Here are a few links to organizations online with information about the arts and literacy.

ArtsLiteracy Project 

National Arts and Music Education Initiative 

Americans for the Arts 

Arts Education Partnership 

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Hi, my name’s Nicole and I’m a youth/teen librarian at Brookfield Public Library – located in a southwest suburb of Chicago. (It’s right by the zoo!! One day I’m gonna skip out and go hang with the snow leopards – you just watch me.) I live on the North side of the city so that makes for some long commutes, but it’s worth it. I really love what I do there. Just today I had a baby storytime and a toddler storytime about monkeys. There was lots of singing, good stories, of course, and even dancing! I also did my typical pre-program marketing for upcoming teen events. Yesterday was the first Fall rehearsal of The Pod Squad – that’s a theatre group I started this summer with the teens. We do podcast theatre. Stay tuned cause I just got through editing our live summer performance, and it’ll be on the web soon. Why did I start a podcast theatre group you ask? I got theatre in my blood! No, seriously I do. Before my trek into librarianship I took my MFA in Design and Technology to the streets working as a freelance costume designer and I still do design when I can, but I prefer the low-stress full-time work with benefits gig for the every. Anyway, so that’s a little about me.

Now, what am I hoping to get out of this class? Practical ways to use Library 2.0 every day. I have all these ideas and keeping up with all the new tools can be mind boggling some days, but I’d like to learn about ways people are using it in their libraries. I’m also interested in finding parallels out in the rest of the world to possibilities for the world of libraries. I’m not sure if that’s clear, but basically I want to see how we can make libraries work like Limewire or other P2P apps, and everything else… I’m extremely interested in seeing the library world embrace the open-source movement. We can save our taxpayers money for other needs and provide more services at the same time. Let’s do that. Oh yes, and I shouldn’t forget to mention social networking sites – I know my teens all use them, and I’ve started reaching them there and then MySpace shut down my page… Anyway, I’d like to explore ways to use sites like MySpace to reach the teens or others who aren’t already using the library.

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