National Arts and Humanities Month
October has been celebrated as National Arts and Humanities Month since 1993. Across the nation, communities gather together to celebrate the arts and discuss the future of American culture
New for October at EDSITEment
This month, EDSITEment explores authenticity in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath; looks at what motivated Columbus’s travels; remembers the Cuban Missile Crisis on its fiftieth anniversary; offers new resources for AP English Literature and Composition; discusses voting in Jacksonian American as depicted in George Caleb Bingham’s The County Election; and discovers the roots of Halloween and the Day of the Dead.
Creative Aging in Our Communities: The Public Library Project
The field of creative aging focuses on the beneficial and powerful role of the arts in enhancing the quality of life for older adults, and is increasingly recognized as an important contributor to positive aging efforts. As the population of aging Americans steadily increases, libraries are experiencing a growing need for valuable programming to address patron needs and interests.
Free Dust Bowl Resources from PBS
The Dust Bowl, a two-part, four-hour documentary series by Ken Burns, chronicles the environmental catastrophe that, throughout the 1930s, destroyed the farmlands of the Great Plains, turned prairies into deserts, and unleashed a pattern of massive, deadly dust storms that for many seemed to herald the end of the world.
New for September at EDSITEment
EDSITEment celebrates Constitution Day and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation this September. In addition, for National Hispanic Heritage Month, EDSITEment looks at noted Hispanic poets from the seventeenth and twentieth centuries as well as offers Spanish-language resources for the novel Esperanza Rising.
“It Came From a Book!” TRW Art Contest
The Library as Incubator Project, in partnership with TLT: Teen Librarian’s Toolbox, The Real Fauxtographer, and EgmontUSA, is hosting an epic Teen Read Week art contest “It Came From a Book!” The contest runs through September 30.
New for August at EDSITEment
This month, EDSITEment goes back to school; celebrates the Statue of Liberty; marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation; discusses “Bartleby, the Scrivener” (even if you would prefer not to); and looks back at August 1968.
Santa Cruz Public Libraries Have Nothing at All to Do with Silence
When TED Prize winner JR announced his wish to turn the world “Inside Out,” inviting people around the globe to share a photo portrait along with a statement about what they stand for, Santa Cruz (Calif.) Public Libraries stood up to participate.
In a Nutshell: A Collaborative Adventure in Library Programming
It was January 2011, and I had only been working at the Haverford Township (Pa.) Free Library for three weeks. My director handed me an announcement of an opportunity titled “Traveling Exhibitions Exploring Jewish History and Culture.” She and I had just been discussing ways to expand our programming at the library, so I was game.
Art and Books: Partnering with a Museum for Great Discussions
At Howe Library in Hanover, New Hampshire, we’re just a few minutes’ walk away from Dartmouth College. The possibilities for collaboration with Dartmouth departments and organizations are tremendous, and we try to take advantage of the opportunities available to us as much as is feasible.
New for July at EDSITEment
Today, EDSITEment celebrates two July 12 birthdays: Henry David Thoreau and Pablo Neruda. EDSITEment also remembers William Faulkner, looks at the histories of London and the Olympics, celebrates New Mexico’s 100th anniversary as a state, offers a summertime reading list, goes to war, and reviews the events of July 1968.
New for April at EDSITEment
This month, EDSITEment celebrates poetry and jazz, compares giants of Hispanic literature, reads for civic reflection, looks back at the events of this month in 1968, discusses fairy tales and today’s youth, and shares some exciting news.
Featured Library: New Bedford Free Public Library
Inspired by Gary D. Schmidt’s young adult novel Okay for Now, the New Bedford (Mass.) Free Public Library, the Friends of the New Bedford Free Public Library, New Bedford Free Public Library Art Room, and the New Bedford Art Museum partnered to create Art in Words.
American Artist Appreciation Month
Each August we recognize the American artists who have enriched our lives. It’s also a good time to offer art-related programming for children and adults at your library.
New for February at EDSITEment
This February, EDSITEment offers a collection of Black History Month resources, takes a look at the history-changing events of February 1968, goes on a Flight to Freedom, builds a fire with Jack London, introduces the members of Thoreau’s Circle, and celebrates Presidents’ Day.
Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens!
Charles Dickens was born two hundred years ago today, and in celebration, I’m offering a roundup of Masterpiece’s Dickens-related resources.
Interactive Programs at Hennepin County Library
In fall 2011, Hennepin County Library (HCL), Minneapolis, offered a variety of workshops on science, theater, and creative writing focused on providing patrons the opportunity to get hands-on experience.
New for January at EDSITEment
This month, EDSITEment remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., explores President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, offers lessons for teaching civics through stories, celebrates the Chinese New Year, looks back at 1968, and takes a trip through the looking glass.
Incubate Art at Your Library
Are you looking for creative ideas for arts-based programming, or wondering how your library can better support the arts and artists in your community? Do you have great arts programming at your library that you want to share? The Library as Incubator Project is here to help!
Workshops Bring Out the Artist in Everyone
Martin County (Fla.) Library System has hit the mother lode recently with a series of art workshops that have tapped into a seemingly endless number of potential participants.
NEH’s Picturing America: Model Programs for Public Libraries
One former New Orleans resident, Edgar Degas, would have been very proud of one of our Sunday morning programs. The National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Picturing America program brings art into public libraries for the community to learn and become culturally aware of their world.
Encouraging Young Authors
I’m fortunate to have grown up in a state that offers a book writing and illustrating contest for elementary students, the Young Author Program. I have fond memories of creating my own little book, so I was thrilled to see that Glenwood Intermediate School partnered with Chatham Area Public Library for its program.
Featured Library: Kent County Public
The Kent County Public Library in Dover, Delaware, is starting off the new year with First Impressions, a series featuring the artwork of great masters and related programming.
Featured Library: Salt Lake City
The Salt Lake City Public Library recently hosted a box city developed by local fourth- through sixth-grade students. The library partnered with four local elementary schools and the American Institute of Architects’ Young Architects Forum to bring the city to life.
Getting the Most from Your Museum/Library Partnership
Perhaps it’s a symptom of the economy and diminishing resources, but there is more talk than ever about partnerships and collaboration in all types of organizations, including libraries and other nonprofits. We are being urged to “maximize resources,” “leverage assets,” and “avoid duplication” in the work we do.
Places in the Heart
Images from the Picturing America collection celebrate scenic as well as man-made wonders—those carved by the forces of nature and those crafted by human ingenuity. Some also suggest the ways in which human experience is shaped, even defined, by place.
Libraries and Humanities Councils: A Perfect Partnership
October’s National Arts and Humanities Month offers a great opportunity to celebrate and expand upon a partnership that has been thriving for more than three decades—the partnership between libraries and state humanities councils. Since the state humanities councils were created in the early 1970s, libraries have been their most consistent and rewarding partners, and councils in turn have been among the local library’s most committed supporters.
Kentucky Kids Get Ekphrastic
You may not know what the word “ekphrastic” means, but a host of kids from west Kentucky in grades three through nine could tell you. Ekphrastic poems comment on another art form, such as painting, sculpture, or architecture.
Libraries (and Cameras) Help Teens Show How They See It
Inspired by the ideas of a Harvard University historian, more than 200 teens at 21 California libraries teens explored place and history using digital cameras and notebooks in a recently completed statewide program—“How I See It—My Place” sponsored by the California Council for the Humanities (CCH).
October Is National Arts and Humanities Month
Be one of the 10,000 communities and millions of people throughout the United States who celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month every year. Join us in recognizing the many ways the arts and culture enhance our lives.
Successful Fundraiser with a Built-in Humanities Program
With the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, home to ALA headquarters, the Public Programs Office couldn’t resist the opportunity to show off a bit of our hometown cultural offerings.
Arts Programming in a Public Library, Part III
At a recent conference for a grant I was fortunate enough to receive, a librarian came up to me and asked me to describe my job. I told him that the closest I could come would be to say that I was an artistic director. If you follow that train of thought, directors create events.
Arts Programming in a Public Library, Part II
In my second interview with John Franzen, he sat me down and said, “You’re hired. Want the job?” I, ever articulate, said, “Ummm. Yeah?” I had a feeling there was more to come. He gave me a number of mandates. One of the items on his list (which was quite long) was to improve the programming.
Arts Programming in a Public Library, Part I
I will start this piece with a confession: I am not a librarian. Ah ah ah … please don’t put down the magazine or shut off your computer just yet. I was hired to be the programmer for the East Meadow Public Library (EMPL) because I am not a librarian. My background is in the professional performing arts and academia.
Arts Programming in Libraries and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
We at the ALA Public Programs Office hear stories from many libraries of how the economic downturn is negatively impacting their capacity for cultural programming. In this time of diminishing budgets, it is particularly important that libraries stay informed of potential funding opportunities for programming.