Community Support at the Ferguson Public Library + Resources for Learning and Teaching About the Recent Events in Ferguson, MO

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ferguson1While area schools cancelled classes for the day following a grand jury’s decision not to indict white police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, the library pledged to open its doors and provide lunch for schoolchildren. The library’s director, Scott Bonner, said that the library was slowing filling up with children this morning, and described the atmosphere as a “mix of emotions.” He said, “I’ve had one or two people come in and just basically cry to me because of what happened last night, how they’re feeling about it and how tough it is for them,” he told TPM. “And we’ve had a whole lot of volunteer teachers come in here with this drive to help people, bring that kind of optimism in.”

 

 

 

Related to libraries and education, I received an email from an instructor today asking, “What can educators and students actually do to affect change in Ferguson and beyond?” I sent her a link to a collaborative online document, Teaching #Ferguson #sschat Resources, a collection of teacher-recommended materials and teaching strategies ranging from pre-k to college-level. I have since also found a relative document, Teaching About the Jordan Davis Murder Trial, which includes lesson plans for high school students. The first document includes curricula and resources for answering questions such as how has media bias influenced understandings of Ferguson? What historical/civic issues could help provide context for the events in Ferguson? How can teachers address social justice issues (police brutality, racial/economic discrimination, etc) related to Ferguson? Regardless of where and how you teach, I hope instructors everywhere will accept the challenge of helping students understand how to think critically about systems, power, and the media.

“This Is What a Librarian Looks Like”

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Philadelphia based photographer/videographer Kyle Cassidy spoke with and photographed librarians at the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2014 Midwinter conference in Philadelphia and the results are in (see the entire photo essay here). Cassidy’s concept was, “If I can put you in front of 50,000 people to tell them one thing about libraries and librarians, what would it be?” In interviews, Cassidy asked librarians to talk about the challenges libraries face and why now, perhaps more than ever, they’re important. Sure, this is only what some librarians look like. That said, I was happy to hear these voices and honestly, I thought everyone looked fabulous (hi Ingrid!)

 

NYPL’s Children’s Book Exhibit is Brilliant

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The ABC of It is an examination of why children’s books are important: what and how they teach children, and what they reveal about the societies that produced them. Through a dynamic array of objects and creative spaces, the exhibition celebrates the extraordinary richness, artistry, and diversity of children’s literature across cultures and time. On exhibit at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Gottesman Exhibition Hall, now through March 23, 2014. If you haven’t already, go experience it!

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Goodnight Moon! Room at NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Gottesman Exhibition Hall

Hello Summer and An Outdoor Reading Room on Governors Island

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A new Uni outdoor reading room will launch this Saturday, Jun 1, on Governors Island in NYC harbor, jointly run by all three NYC public library systems: the Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Queens Library. The Libraries will provide staff and books, learning activities, and children’s programs for the benefit of island visitors all summer long. Visitors will be able to borrow books “in house”, register for library cards, sign up for summer reading, and find out about what’s happening in each of the three New York City public library systems. Score!

More information here.

NYC: City-Wide Day of Rallies 5/28/2013

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Come out, come out, wherever you are and show some love Tuesday, May 28, 2013!

(Via Urban Librarians Unite)

Citywide Day of Rallies In Support of NYC’s Public Libraries
Rallies in Across the City Call to Restore Proposed Budget Cuts

New Yorkers love their libraries and they show it but the current NYC
budget proposed cuts of more than $106 million threaten to shut down
community libraries across New York City. In response to this, a
citywide day of action will take place on Tuesday May 28th. NYC’s
three public library systems will participate along with the Queens
Library Guild Local 1321 and Urban Librarians Unite. There will be
library love going on across New York City.

Bronx
3:00 – 4:00PM
Kingsbridge Library, 291 West 231st Street, Bronx, NY

Wrap yourself up in library love. The activists in the Bronx will be
hugging the library with the help of local students and community
groups. These crafty activists have been knitting furiously in
protest of the cuts. They expect lots of pint-sized protesters as
their youngest supporters, the storytime set, will be out in force.

Brooklyn
9:00am
Bushwick Branch, 340 Bushwick Ave. at Seigel St, Brooklyn, NY
Council Member Diana Reyna will attend

9:00am
Park Slope Branch, 431 Sixth Ave. at Ninth St., Brooklyn
Council Member Brad Lander will attend

Hug the Libraries! Two Brooklyn Libraries will be literally embraced
by their communities. The Bushwick Branch and the Park Slope Branch
will be surrounded by crowds clasping hands and embracing the library
buildings.

Manhattan
3 to 4 PM
Jefferson Market Library, 425 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY

Manhattanites are hoping the city will “cut it out” with slashing
library budgets. Children of all ages will attend a craft event,
featuring a special paper cut-out celebrating the Library, which will
be displayed for all New Yorkers who love their libraries, and to make
a statement about their importance.

Queens
11:00 – 1:00PM
Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica
Council Member Leroy Comrie expected to attend

The Queens Library Guild, Local 1321 Rally at the Queens Central
Library will be a vocal celebration of love for the library. Staff and
customers will take it in turn to come forward and speak up about
their personal love for the library.

Early Literacy Through Play: BIG Brooklyn Play Date @ BPL

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big_brooklyn_playdate_2013Got kids? Stop by!

When? Wednesday, April 24, 10:30 am – 12 pm

Where? Brooklyn Public Library Central Library, Dweck Center

Stop by the Big Brooklyn Playdate to enjoy fun games and activities that delight young children and encourage early literacy. Come to play and leave ready to turn ordinary objects in your home into your child’s favorite toys. The Big Brooklyn Playdate is just one wonderful way to play at the Library; Read, Play, Grow! programs are ongoing at many neighborhood libraries this spring. Visit bklynpubliclibrary.org/first-5-years for more information.