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April is one of the most interesting months of the year for me because it’s National Poetry Month. Poetry Month was thought up back in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. Twenty years later, the month has many supporters; there are now countries all over the world that celebrate the month of April and honor their favorite poets. Poetry Month is a wonderful way to raise awareness about the value of poetry, to pay tribute to all the amazing poets, past and present, and to entice our future poets as well.
One of my first planning meetings as the new outreach and communications librarian for the William H. Hannon Library was with the director and curator of the Laband Art Gallery, an on-campus exhibition space in the College of Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University. Over the past few years, the Hannon Library and the Laband Gallery have developed a synergistic relationship built on shared vision and trust, a relationship that has increased the impact we could achieve as single institutions.
Each year, the Academy of American Poets promotes National Poetry Month in April to highlight the achievements of American poets and encourage the appreciation and reading of poetry. Academic libraries have some great programming opportunities to join in on the celebration. Here are some examples of programming from four diverse academic libraries.
What does it take to host community-centric programs that are also well-attended? Sonya Durney is a librarian at Portland Public Library (PPL) in Portland, Maine. As the library’s business and government team leader, she plans programs covering entrepreneurship, politics, finance and career resources.
Each month during the school year, a group of 20 to 30 children grades K through 4 gather at Skokie Public Library on a Friday evening for Adventure Club. This longstanding, hour-long program gives elementary-aged youth the opportunity to explore and experience some of the culture, traditions, food, and pastimes of countries and cultures across the world.
This isn’t exactly a lemons-into-lemonade story. More specifically, it’s one of those "blank wall transforms into a community art gallery and arts-centered program series" kind of stories.
Katie Gregory, the Mid-Continent Public Library's (MCPL) Liberty Branch assistant manager, was faced with a problem. The wall in the Wi-Fi study space at the branch was uninspiring — some might venture so far as to call it stark and depressing. In short, it was blank.