Featured Libraries: Greensboro and Loudoun County Public Libraries
Colleen Barbus | April 06, 2010
If you’re interested in initiating some poetry-related programming in your library—to coincide with April’s designation as National Poetry Month, or for any time of year—take a look at programs hosted by the Greensboro (N.C.) Public Library (GPL) and the Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library (LCPL) for insight and ideas. Both libraries have inspired patrons with their annual poetry programming, getting entire communities excited about poetry, and showcasing poetry as a forum for creativity and discussion.
Begun in 2003, Poetry GSO at GPL focuses on the commonality that poetry presents—that the language of poetry is present all around us, just waiting to be discovered. GPL aids in that discovery with a month-long, poetry-themed calendar featuring open mic nights; poetry workshops for children, teens and adults; an international poetry night; and—as the centerpiece to their annual April programming—readings and programming featuring a famous poet. This year’s line-up of poets includes readings and other programming from Glenis Redmond, Julia Ebel, Marilyn Nelson, and Jimmy Santiago Baca. With a goal of making “poetry more accessible to the general public,” GPL’s Poetry GSO programming brings poetry to the patrons and serves as a model for inspiring people of all ages to look for the language of poetry in their everyday lives. Find out more about Poetry GSO.
LCPL has gone beyond just the month of April with their celebration of poetry programming, designating 2010 as the “Year of Poetry,” with different poetry-themed programs each month. This programming includes visiting poets, featured poetry collections, readings and read-ins, and poetry workshops. Poet Kwame Alexander is the LCPL poet-in-residence for the month of April, presenting his work in readings at several branches at the end of the month. LCPL encourages patrons to “try poetry,” illustrating the reluctance that some may have in exploring poetry while offering plenty of fun and accessible program options to help patrons get familiar with and excited about poetry. Find out more about poetry programming at LCPL.
Have the GPL and LCPL programs inspired you to become a poetry programming librarian, too? Here are some resources to help:
- Favorite Poem Project
- The Academy of American Poets
- Poetry Out Loud
- Poetry Foundation
- Poetry Society of America
- Poets House
- Poetry 180
Colleen Barbus is an Administrative Assistant for the ALA Public Programs Office.