library

Library as Makerspace: Creating and Nurturing Communities of Teen Writers

Original photograph by Buffy Hamilton

As part of our makerspace initiative this year (please see this blog post and this slidedeck here) and inspired by the work of the Sacramento Public Libraryone of my focal points is thinking about ways the library can support creating communities of readers and writers who are crafting and composing texts (and I use the term text rather liberally).  The Sacramento Public Library Winter 2012 “Write at iStreet Press” writing and publishing catalog offers a model of what the library as a makerspace for constructing texts looks like in a community through the public library.  Possible topics I’m interested in offering as “lunch and learn” sessions or after-school sessions could include (but are not limited to!):

  • Creative writing (memoirs, poetry, short stories, novels) and writer’s craft
  • Self publishing options (print as well as eBook/eInk)
  • Academic writing 
  • Digital and/or multimodal composition
  • Multigenre writing
  • Storytelling

While our library program has integrated pieces of these topics in the context of curricular study and collaboration with teachers for class projects over the last few years, I would love for The Unquiet Library to offer a dedicated space (physical and virtual) for more informal learning that would give students more latitude and agency in choice and topics for writing.  I see the library giving our student writing community a place where our teens could create, share, wonder, and experiment.   

While I feel comfortable in leading some of these workshops that I envision, I know we need the expertise and wisdom of our local and global community to help us connect our students with teaching artists (in the spirit of Sacramento Public Library’s iStreet Press writing program) and mentors (see the wonderful Chicago Public Library YOUMedia). Right now I’m in the early stages of reaching out to peers both near and far in my personal learning network to find people in our school community and the Atlanta/north Georgia area who could help facilitate these kinds of writing workshops; I’m also open to using Google Hangouts or Skype if there are mentors from afar who would be interested in facilitating and interacting through virtual means.   Additionally, I’d like to explore how our library could partner with other community groups and organizations (see this inspiration list from UC Davis Continuing Education); I think it would also be fun to collaborate with teen writing groups through other school and public libraries to extend the makerspace writing community!  As we grow the makerspace, I also see us tapping into our students’ talents and enlisting their help in serving as teaching artists and mentors to their peers.  I am hopeful that our makerspace writing community will create, share, and publish texts (individually as well as with peers) in a variety of genres that are personally meaningful to them.

I look forward to sharing with you our journey of this endeavor to make The Unquiet Library a true “incubator” for teen writers.  What suggestions or ideas do you have for the library as a makerspace for young authors and writers who want to craft their art in a variety of genres and modes?

*author’s note:  I’m delighted to share that this entry is cross-posted at National Writing Project’s Digital Is*

Crowdsourcing the Future of Libraries (via janholmquist)

from my wonderful colleague and friend, Jan Holmquist–I’m honored to have been part of #cyc4lib #futurelib via Skype!

Crowdsourcing the Future of Libraries Crowdsourcing the future of libraries was what the local librarians at my library did with the Cycling for Librari … Read More

via janholmquist

Coming Out Party: The Debut of the Libraries and Transliteracy Blog

It is with tremendous excitement I share the debut of a brand new blog today:  The Libraries and Transliteracy Blog. Through this group blog, Bobbi Newman, Tom Ipri, and I will be working hard to  share information about the new literacies, digital literacy, media literacy, 21st century literacies and transliteracies with a special focus on libraries.  We will be providing you an organic “reading list” of resources related to transliteracy;  our blog also features a Twitter stream of the latest Tweets related to transliteracy.  You may subscribe to the RSS feed for our blog through your favorite feed aggregator or information portal; we also offer the option of  email updates.

Please help us celebrate and spread the word of this new resource with your colleagues!

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What Makes a Library a Library? Teens Share Their Musings

Yesterday, I was moved by Sarah Houghton-Jan’s post in which she asked, “What makes a library a library?”  I am in the process of collecting responses from librarians near and far, but I also felt it was important to throw this question out to my teens and hear their thoughts.  In this first volume of responses, I found it fascinating these eleven students primarily focused on relationships, experiences, atmosphere, and library as place.  I will be collecting additional responses tomorrow and sharing those via video as well.

I’m also working on pulling together the responses from my adults peers near and far; I’m looking forward to seeing how their responses may either mirror and/or differ from the teens’ responses!

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