Cultural Programming for Libraries: Linking Libraries, by Deborah A. Robertson

By Deborah A. Robertson

For a library to satisfy its challenge to supply group engagement and cultural discussion, then diversified, very good cultural programming is the main. In Cultural Programming for Libraries, the director of ALA s Public courses place of work stocks time-tested recommendations and sensible, inspiring samples from great courses around the kingdom. Librarians, employees, and volunteers will locate the sensible how-to for developing accomplished cultural software sequence from making plans to investment to selling. This authoritative source outlines all of the steps to: * verify present group wishes * Set ambitions and identify measurable results * advance successful partnerships that bring about prime quality, well-attended courses * spotlight and force using collections * achieve neighborhood aid and visibility via programming * increase your library s function as cultural middle according to profitable modelsEleven five-star courses spotlight impressive occasions for various viewers sizes and value issues to aid customise your personal library s attempt. advertising and promotional samples additionally motivate creativity in each bankruptcy to aid increase your library as a neighborhood cultural hub. Programming advocates in libraries of any measurement or style can use this authoritative source to augment talents, elevate effectiveness, and extend their artistic imaginative and prescient for selling profitable cultural courses.

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More than six in ten adults (65 percent) use a public library at least once a year. Libraries are used almost equally by men (63 percent) and women (68 percent). And library audiences are racially diverse: a majority of European Americans (65 percent), African Americans (63 percent), Latinos (58 percent), Asian/ Pacific Islanders (72 percent), and Native Americans (65 percent) are library users. In a March 2002 survey conducted by KRC Research and Consulting, respondents indicated that they most often use the library for educational purposes (46 percent), followed by entertainment (41 percent), and 90 percent of the total respondents believed that libraries are places of opportunity for education and self-help and offer free access for all.

A later audio series, Poets in Person, produced by the Modern Poetry Association and broadcast on National Public Radio, featured thirteen half-hour programs, each on a single living poet—including Sharon Olds, Rita Dove, A. R. Ammons, and Gary Soto. The audio programs featured biographical material about and readings by these engaging and influential writers, as well as conversations with fellow poets and scholars about their work and critical commentary. Libraries distribute audiotapes of the programs and a paperback listener’s guide to participants who come to the library for scholar-facilitated discussion.

The following themes, developed by the Maine Humanities Council, Maine Center for the Book, and Maine State Library, illustrate the richness of available material: “Crossing Over: Mediating between Cultures in Contemporary American Indian Literature,” focusing on works by James Welch, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and Louis Owens “Exploring Human Boundaries: Literary Perspectives on Health Care Providers and Their Patients,” including The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman, The Plague, by Albert Camus, and Wit, by Margaret Edson 44 Series, Formats, Themes, and Tie-ins “The Mirror of Maine: The Maine Community in Myth and Reality,” featuring works by Stephen King and other Maine residents The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has been the major national funder of Let’s Talk about It since 1983, and, in 1992, NEH program officer Tom Phelps wrote, “For nearly ten years the project has brought people together in this nation’s libraries to talk about important themes found in great literature and history.

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