The September Project

A recent comment on the Programming Librarian Facebook page caught my eye. Sandy Whipple wrote that she “would love to see more libraries, both public and academic, hosting programs and events as participants in The September Project.” Sandy, I can’t promise that this blog post will increase participation, but it definitely looks like a program worth sharing for those who are unfamiliar with it.

According to the September Project website, “Since 2004, libraries across the world have organized events about freedom and issues that matter to their communities during the month of September. This grassroots project favors free over fee, public over private, and voices over silence.” The site is an excellent resource for programming ideas, with libraries of all types from around the world sharing their plans for September.

For example, Public Library Berio of Genoa (Italy) offered:

This year our commemoration is called “WAR!—Yesterday’s and today’s conflicts,” a public conference with a slide show by Livio Senigalliesi, photojournalist. From the falling of the Wall in Berlin to the civil war in former Jugoslavia, from Iraq to Kurdistan, from the genocide in Rwanda to the wars in Caucasus… the report of more than 20 years of history of the world in the career of a war photography freelance.

Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington, has announced their participation in the September Project. Their events focus on “how libraries can help explore controversial topics”:

A Digital Journalism class will explore the controversy surrounding the Olympia food co-op’s decision to boycott Israeli products (on a local scale) and issues surrounding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (on a global scale). The Digital Journalism students will research the topic and create a slide show which will include 40-80 quotes, various sources and images, representing multiple perspectives on the issue. The slide show will run on the library wall monitors during a week in September. This slide show will also be made available online.

Merensky Library at the University of Pretoria in South Africa shared:

September is heritage month in South Africa, and a good opportunity to celebrate our freedom, in particular our freedom of expression. We decided to do an exhibition of books that were banned during the Apartheid era, and encourage students to read the once banned books.

And, of course, Sandy Whipple’s library, Goffstown Public Library in New Hampshire, has its own September Project scheduled. On September 11, the library will stay open for twenty-four hours and feature such special events as thank-a-hero cardmaking; a knit/crochet-a-thon; a screening of Taking Chance, a film about a military escort officer who accompanies the body of a fallen soldier home; and a candlelight vigil.

Do you have September Project plans? Share them below and at the September Project website.