Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series of Q&A features highlighting contributors to ALA Public Programs Office traveling exhibitions.
The ALA Public Programs Office is always working to create new traveling exhibition opportunities for libraries. Traveling exhibitions and related public programs, including lectures by scholars, panel discussions, book and film discussions, curriculum activities, and concerts, offer exciting learning opportunities for library communities. In order to shed light on the topics libraries are most interested in, we recently posed the following questions to our project discussion lists:
It can often be difficult to create programming that accommodates more than one age group, but Drake Community Library in Grinnell, Iowa, has been successfully coordinating programs for children and adults alike. For their current “Visions of the Universe” exhibition, they have more than twenty events planned for children, for teens and adults, and some for all three.
The magic of Harry Potter has been brought to life at the Germantown Community Library in Tennessee. The library is hosting “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” through January 15. The exhibition explores the Renaissance science, thinkers, and practices that influenced the development of modern Western science. It features beliefs of the fifteenth- and sixteenth-centuries and some of the ethical questions raised in J.K. Rowling’s series.
The Orland Park Public Library in Illinois is putting up-and-coming inventors to the test in conjunction with the “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” exhibit, which they will begin hosting on December 16, 2009. Children and adults were invited to submit an invention that will be displayed and judged for originality and utility on February 13.
On October 3, The University of Kansas Medical Center began hosting the “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians” traveling exhibit at Dykes Library. Along with displaying the exhibit’s accounts of outstanding female contributions to medicine, Dykes Library has organized complementary events throughout the city.
Milner Library at Illinois State University (ISU) in Normal just finished hosting the “John Adams Unbound” traveling exhibition, which focuses on Adams’ 3,500-volume personal library that his family donated in 1894 to the Boston Public Library. The exhibit takes visitors on a journey through Adams’ life from 1735 to 1826 as a student, lawyer, revolutionary, diplomat and as America’s second president from 1797 to 1801.
Looking for a clever way to promote a program at your library and invite patron participation? Perhaps you could look to “Where in the World Is John Adams?” for inspiration. The site records the modern-day travels of John Adams (in die-cut bookmark form) and not only promotes the “John Adams Unbound” traveling exhibition, but allows the public the unique opportunity to submit their own John Adams sightings. Want to see if John Adams has been in your state or country?
Zora Neale Hurston. Saul Bellow. John Cheever. Richard Wright. Studs Terkel. These are just a few of the thousands of unemployed writers put to work by the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP). At the ALA Annual Conference, attendees gathered on Sunday afternoon for a special presentation of Soul of A People: Writing America’s Story, a documentary about the Federal Writers’ Project, created by Spark Media. The FWP was a branch of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the controversial program created by Franklin D.
"My father couldn’t swim, but he walked out onto the ice when we wanted to skate to test it for us kids,” Sharon Robinson said as she concluded her portion of the PPO’s program, “Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience.” Her father, Jackie Robinson, is undoubtedly one of the most influential names in American history, and his courage to step out into the uncharted racial waters, not knowing if he’d sink or swim, changed history forever.