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300 public libraries in 48 states, & Cuba Featured on NPRs This American Life in August of 2005, 2006 High Strung, rooftop of Kansas City Public Library.

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Presentation on theme: "300 public libraries in 48 states, & Cuba Featured on NPRs This American Life in August of 2005, 2006 High Strung, rooftop of Kansas City Public Library."— Presentation transcript:


2 300 public libraries in 48 states, & Cuba Featured on NPRs This American Life in August of 2005, 2006 High Strung, rooftop of Kansas City Public Library







9 1. Dont Ask for Permission 2. Form Partnerships & Take it to the Streets Talk – Action = Irrelevancy Dont be lazy 3. Make it Fun! Fun = Tax Revenue

10 1. Why Partner 2. What is this all about 3. Advocacy 4. Think big, start small 5. Follow these steps

11 More than ever, libraries need to prove they are Innovative Deeply connected to their communities Essential to the success of these communities Its all about building community

12 Partnerships and outreach mean: You are spending resources wisely by combining forces with other groups Strength in numbers You are not sitting in the building and waiting for people to come to you With each new effort, you are creating new advocates for the library

13 Partnerships and outreach mean: You are taking advantage of the creativity, networks, and expertise that exist in all communities You are redefining the role of the library so no one considers it a frivolous or unnecessary service

14 It all comes down to money Ultimately, partnerships and outreach are key to sustaining funding levels and support through good times and bad

15 Find out who the movers and shakers are in your community Remember, the people we need to reach are many and varied

16 Direct Outreach Grassroots Word of Mouth Talk-Action = Irrelevancy

17 Partnerships and outreach shouldnt be considered separate tasks but an integral part of your daily work at the library Its all about advocacy - as are your everyday good customer service and dedication

18 You need to be advocates because you and those who work in your library are the first line of defense against claims of irrelevance, displacement by technology, demotion on the list of community priorities, declining literacy, and ultimately, erosion of the memory of our collective communities - Libraries Prosper with Passion, Purpose and Persuasion (PLA Toolkit)

19 Partnerships can take time to start Once they are up and running, they should be beneficial and save time for all involved THINK BIG BUT START SMALL

20 Get together with colleagues to discuss: I wish we could serve… I wish we could offer… I wish we could do a program on… I wish we could… Think outside the box

21 Prioritize your list of ideas Think of ideas for how to accomplish them Choose a project and make a realistic outline of how it could be accomplished Review ideas with co-workers

22 Think about who to approach. Think big. Consider: people you or your colleagues know personally or by reputation local nonprofits and businesses (especially those that are new or expanding) other libraries in the area Think about where you might want assistance money, publicity, materials, purchasing power, helping hands, ideas, logistics, meeting space, volunteers, etc. Think about how your proposal will benefit your potential partners

23 Select only one project to start with Consider approaching more than one partner, but start with the partner most likely to say yes Dont be afraid to do some cold calling Be open to the partners ideas

24 Make sure details are worked out and communicated clearly in advance Consider what statistics or evaluations will be collected Publicity should be done jointly with all partners to reach people outside the librarys regular networks

25 This is the fun part: You and your partner come together to host a program or kick off a service Make sure to give recognition Proper planning and full publicity should make for a smooth event and big crowd

26 Evaluate collectively and individually Evaluation questions could include: How well did the program work? What can be learned from statistics? What kind of comments were made? Should this be done again? How could it be improved? How did the timing work out? Would additional partners be helpful?

27 Worse case scenario Someone tells you no You have a list of ideas Ask for feedback Best case scenario: No program but you form a solid partner You make yourself look good You make the director look good

28 Outreach is partnerships / partnerships are outreach Consider every interaction an opportunity to do outreach and build partnerships Make everyone look good Dont assume its someone elses job

29 Enjoy the snowball effect Be ready to adjust your expectations and adapt to partners changing needs

30 Learn from other professions networking marketing Make it fun Create buzz and be creative Fun = tax revenue

31 The first step is the hardest Ask yourself: Whats the worst that could happen? Whats the best that could happen? Write down the first idea you got today and follow the plan when you get back to work

32 Remember: Partnerships and outreach are advocacy and thus a core part of your job. Doing this could make the difference the next time you need to ask for community funding or support.


34 1. Dont Ask for Permission 2. Form Partnerships & Take it to the Streets Talk – Action = Irrelevancy Dont be lazy 3. Make it Fun! Fun = Tax Revenue

35 Program Title: Artist In Residence Program Description: The artist-in-residence program is a joint project between the Chelsea Center for the Arts and the Chelsea District Library. The artist-in-residence program is designed for a nationally-known artist who works in the community through the library to deliver various services as they see fit. In addition to instructional and consultative activities, the artist-in-residence enriches the local arts scene by his or her presence, but may also offer writing workshops and other writing related events, plus programming. Whats It All About: New blood each year Remember what I said about finding the experts? Let them do the work for us! How many libraries, let alone public, let alone small public libraries think to sponsor an artist in residence? Bring in recognizable authors & artists.

36 Program Title: Midwest Literary Walk in Downtown Chelsea Program Description: Michael McClure, famous Beat Generation and 1960s counter-culture poet and writer, will make a rare appearance in downtown Chelsea at the first-ever Midwest Literary Walk, April 18. McClure, associate of Allen Ginsberg and close friend of Jim Morrison, is the author of 14 books of poetry, eight books of plays, and four books of essays. He wrote the song Mercedes Benz, popularized by Janis Joplin, and authored the play The Beard, which became a cause célèbre in the 60s for testing censorship laws in San Francisco and other cities. Now 78, McClure was immortalized by Jack Kerouac in his novel Big Sur and by Martin Scorcese in his film The Last Waltz. Oprah Book Club novelist Bret Lott, of South Carolina, and suburban Detroit novelist Michael Zadoorian will also read from their work, along with Michigan poets Keith Taylor, Janet Kauffman, Macklin Smith, and Bill Harris. Free and open to the public, the event is the brainchild of Detroit poet ML Liebler, current artist-in-residence at the Chelsea District Library and Chelsea Center for the Arts, cosponsors of the Walk. All locations are within a two-block area. 1 pm, Keith Taylor and Macklin Smith, River Gallery 2 pm, Michael Zadoorian and Bill Harris, Chelsea Gallery 3 pm, Bret Lott and Janet Kauffman, Cranesbill Books 4 pm, Community Open Mic with ML Lieblers Workshop, Zou Zous Café 5:30 pm, reception and book signing with Michael McClure, River Gallery 7 pm, Michael McClure and ML Liebler, Chelsea District Library.

37 Moby Grape

38 Program Title: Songwriters Workshop Program Description: Join the Chelsea Center for the Arts and the Chelsea District Library for a most exciting, memorable and entertaining song- writing workshop from Chelsea's artist-in-residence, M.L. Liebler. Plus Detroit quartet the High Strung, hailed by Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and Village Voice as one of the best rock & roll bands in America. Registration required. Space is limited! Call the CCA or to register for this workshop. Basics: Saturday Afternoon from 12 to Bring School of Rock to your town Serve Pizza Film it Great way to get young people and old alike together Perfect for Outreach Take the School of Rock concept and apply it to seniors!.

39 Program Title: A Day in the Life of Chelsea Program Description: If your house is anything like our library, it has a shelf full of cookbooks – most of which are filled with dazzling photos of all kinds of food dishes. Some of them are mouth-watering to look at. We are giving you 24 hours to document a delicious dining experience through your eyes, from the way its prepared, to its presentation, to the way it is eaten. Pick up a disposable camera at the library. Photos will be posted in a special exhibit on the library web site. Registration required. Topics: Photography Community Basics: Registration is Required Try to limit numbers to 15 or 20 Buy 15 disposable cameras from local camera shop and work out a deal (lean on them about promoting locally) Notify patron when the galleries are on the librarys web page You can use multiple themes, or make it more generic Extras: Make double copies of prints so patrons can keep copy Marketing Newsletter, website, and around town The editor of the Ann Arbor News write an editorial pronouncing me a genius and wishing more libraries got in the business of preserving our local heritage, and encouraging libraries all over the country to follow my lead.

40 Program Title: Chelsea District Library Comedy Showcase Program Description: Together with the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, the library will be staging a series of stand-up comedy showcases from some of the regions most popular comics. Once a week our cut-loose comedy series will present the comedy of 12 of the current rising stars in the area and beyond. Topics: Stand up comedy Basics: Every Thursday in June Partner with local comedy club Bus seniors over from residential homes Held outdoor in the librarys outdoor ampitheater Marketing Newsletter, website, and around town Stories in the Chelsea Standard and Ann Arbor News Streaming video or YouTube clips of comics Coverage on Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase website Comics Mike Green Horace HB Sanders Kevin McPeek Chili Challis Gary George

41 Program Title: Purple Rose Theater Program Description: The Purple Rose and Library recently received a $17,000 grant to support a new play development partnership. In 2008, the PRTC and CDL created a partnership to foster mutually beneficial programming and community collaboration. Since the inception of this partnership, these institutions have worked together to bring concert readings of new plays, adult playwriting workshops, and acting workshops for teens to the library, all free of charge to participants. The partnership has proven especially effective in the play development process of several PRTC world premieres, including Bleeding Red by Michael Brian Ogden and Wake by Carey Crim; both plays received public readings at the CDL before rehearsals began. The mission of the partnership is threefold: to develop new works by Midwestern playwrights for potential production; to involve community members in the script development process; and to inspire young writers to create their own works for the stage.

42 Program Title: Cemetery Ghost Hunt Program Description: Haunted houses? Cemeteries with ghosts? Explore the supernatural as the Ghost Hunters of Southern Michigan (GHOSM) reveal evidence of paranormal phenomena captured during their investigations. Then, join the Ghost Hunters of Southern Michigan (GHOSM) on a search for ghostly activities at Chelseas Oak Grove Cemetery. Registration is required. Topics: Paranormal investigations True Stories How to go on a ghost hunt Speakers: Local ghost hunters group. They are everywhere. Just do a Google search, youll find one. Basics: Length – Two sessions (presentation – 1 ½ hours; ghost hunt – 2 hours) For the ghost hunt, people will need to bring flashlights, warm clothes (if you do it after dark around Halloween), tape recorder, video recorder, and cameras. Be prepared to address the issue of the occult. You have to have guts to do a program like this, because staff and members of community will give you grief about it. Dont be afraid to take risks, even if you dont buy into this stuff you have to remember that we are here to serve all walks of life, plus a little controversy at the library is always a good thing. Helps keep us on the map! Extras: Invite member of historical society to lead a guided tour of cemetery before the extra ghost hunt. Not only will it remind people that you arent introducing the occult, but its all about fun. Marketing: Library newsletter and website, which is all you need as people will literally come out of the woodwork to attend this program. Ive done in four or five times, not just with seniors, but with teens too. Patrons who didnt know the library even existed will come as if making a trek to Mecca. Be prepared to be overwhelmed.

43 Program Title: Meet the Beatles Program Description: An informal look at all aspects of The Beatles (their songs, films, album concepts, fiction, poetry, theater, essays, cartoons, and more). Well look at the history, the myths, the legends, the secrets, the lies, and the reality of it all. M.L. Liebler, professor at Wayne State University, will lead the discussion and supply rare essays and writings of The Beatles in addition to seldom seen Video/DVD footage. Registration is required. Topics: The Beatles Pop Music Speakers: Local expert or professor Record store owner Musician Radio DJ The librarian Basics: Length – 5 part series at 1 hour each Theater style seating LCD projector w/laptop, audio equipment for playing CDs or DVDs Extras: Beatles book (of which there are no shortages) display for checkout Decorate room with posters Get the audience involved by asking them where they were when the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan Encourage patrons to bring their own memorabilia and stories to share Marketing: In addition to marketing in library newsletter and website, hit the schools, coffee shops, record and book stores

44 Program Title: Flower Arranging with Gigi Program Description: Flowers can make a gray day bright. Isnt that sweet? An artfully arranged bouquet can become a focal point of a room. Many senior patrons like to know how to create their own gems. This program will give them the tools to get started plus a chance to take home a free bouquet. Invite a local florist, local garden club member to demonstrate floral arrangement. Topics Flowers Flower Arrangements Speakers: Florist Member of Garden Club Staff Member Basics: Length – 1 ½ hours Several tables set up in big square Participants should bring scissors or a knife and a bag to carry the finished product free, but you must pay for the flowers and the time of the local florist if they dont agree to donate their time Extras: Display books and videos on floral design, flower arranging, and decorating with flowers Seniors will be able to take the floral arrangement home Ask them to talk about where to buy fresh and silk flowers, how to select colors, and how to create designs Marketing: Ive always had to turn people away because weve exceeded capacity Chances are patrons will be quit familiar with the person who owns the flower shop and love to have a chance to walk away with a free flower arrangement, particularly around the holidays Distribute flyers at library, senior center and residential homes, plus the florist, and gardening centers

45 Program Title: Slice of Life Pizza Tasting Competition for Seniors Program Description: Whether you prefer a traditional Neapolitan or Chicago style pie or the modern pizza versions established by fast food chains like Little Caesars, you'll agree most of us have a love for that delectable food we call - Pizza. Topics: Pizza Speakers: Adult Services Librarian Basics: So why not host a Pizza Tasting contest for Senior Citizens? With the support of local Pizzerias, you can dish out cheese and pepperoni pizzas for the judging. Participants will sample each type of pie in a taste test and voted on their favorite cheese and pepperoni pizza. The categories included: Best in Show, Best Crust, Cheesiest, and Best Sauce. Extras: While the seniors filled their bellies with the sampling of pies, they also received recipes and ideas on how to create their own unique pizza creations. The votes were tallied and the race was tight. The winner for best in show was Brooklyn Pizza. The champion for best cheesiest in Chelsea was awarded to Thompsons. Marketing: Newsletter, website, flyers to senior centers, churches, funeral homes, and residential facilities Be sure to thank all of the participating restaurants for their involvement in this successful event. There were certainly no leftovers and truly no losers!

46 Program Title: Pollinate Your Mind – Summer Reading Program Program Description: Just for adults, register to get rewards and win prizes for using the library. This years program is as flexible as ever. Participants can read, listen to music or audio books, watch movies, or attending one of our great lineup of programs and win great prizes, like an iPod, dinner at Common Grill, tickets for the Purple Rose Theater, Chelsea Cash, and more! Basics: Nobody ever thinks about designing a program strictly for adult, change that! Dont go cheap on prizes. If you cant afford anything more than the crap you buy from the Oriental Trading Catalog, dont bother. People wont be interested Choose a theme, this year we picked gardening Here's how you get started: Register to get a reading log, and then start reading from May 15 through July 30. Earn stamps by reading a book, newspaper, or magazine, watching a movie, listening to an audiobook or music CD, using the library's online resources, or attending our great lineup of events.lineup of events Choose your prize as you reach 5, 10, and 15 stamps. Books earn 3 stamps each; all other activities are worth 1 stamp each. Earn 15 stamps and you'll get a free paperback book plus an entry for the grand prize drawing, held during the closing event ice cream social on Wednesday, July 30. Prizes Win prizes like: a bird feeder garden tools books a video iPod

47 Program Title: Pollinate Your Mind – Summer Reading Program CDs clay pots dinner at the local fancy restaurant hose guides seeds & planters Gift Certificates to Local Business DVDs painted watering cans Local bookstore gift cards plant markers fair-trade chocolate a garden tote bag tickets to the local theater bird seed Marketing: Both the library and senior center newsletters, distribute fliers to hospitals, churches, nursing homes, and senior residential facilities. By far the best thing to do is find a major event, like a Senior Expo, set up a booth and sign people up at the event. Or, find something similar, call, and ask to be a part of it. Cmon, hardly anyone designs decent summer reading programs for adults. Get on board!

48 Program Title: Senior Lock-In Program Description: Together with the Chelsea Senior Center, join us for the first ever Senior lock-in at the library. The library will close at 6pm and reopen at 6:30pm. We will feature a host of activities including a Hawaiian rib dinner, massage therapist, flower arranging with Gigis Flowers, Fortune Teller, Nintendo Wii, and more. Dont miss out on this exciting event. Space is limited so register now! Topics: Video Games Food Massage Therapy Flower Arranging Tarot cards Card games Speakers: Local Flower shop owner Local massage therapist Senior center activities director Adult Services Librarian Tarot Reader Basics: If your library isnt big enough, you may have to host this offsite at a residential facility or senior center Cater in dinner Set up programming room cafeteria style to serve dinner Separate staging areas or rooms for the massage therapist, tarot reader, card tables (Bridge), Nintendo Wii, flower arranging activity Stage lock-in on a Friday or Saturday night from 6:30 to 10pm

49 Program Title: Senior Lock-In Extras: Cold beverages and cookies for people to snack on since this is a long night Make sure you recruit volunteers to help set up, coordinate, and clean up after everyone leaves Marketing: Library newsletter and website, distribute fliers at senior centers, nursing homes, and senior residential facilities Notes: The best senior program Ive ever done, and maybe the first of its kind at any library Its expensive, but you can find ways to do it cheaper

50 Program Title: Nintendo Wii for Seniors – Not Your Grandkids Nintendo Anymore! Program Description: Put your virtual bowling skills to the test. If you are not familiar with the Wii, please join us for our kick off event. We will be setting up bowling leagues, golf, tennis, and more. Wii approximates the motion of the games you enjoy because it requires players to swing a motion-detector controller like a bowling ball, tennis racquet, or golf club. This is the hottest thing going! Everyone is welcome to participate and become part of the fun. Don't let your grandkids have all the fun! Topics: Video Gaming Speakers: You Basics: Nintendo Wii (retails for $250 – If you cant afford it, ask the Friends to purchase it) At least four Wii game controllers TV or a big screen projector if you have it Ideal for partnering with senior center, nursing home, or residential home Be patient, this is a very hands-on project. Many of them probably never played a video game in their life Extras: You need to offer cold drinks as people will work up a thirst Cookies, light snack Marketing: Both the library and senior center newsletters, distribute fliers at nursing homes, senior residential homes To hype it, do a demonstration for your staff and the Friends of the library so they understand why the library is investing in it.

51 Local History Programming Local history matters Preserving the history of the community Same concept as partnering, dont wait for the information to come to you Rebrand the library by creating your own content Tie programming into your local history Great PR for the library

52 Program Title: Historic Chelsea Interest Group Program Description: Second Thursday of every month, 7-8:30 p.m., McKune Room. Registration not required. The library and Preservation Chelsea host this group of people researching historic homes or buildings in the Chelsea area. Each session features a guest speaker and time for members to share questions, ideas, or stories uncovered through their own research. Topics: Local history, buildings, homes Speaker: Speaker – local guest or member of historical society Basics: Length – 1 to 1 ½ hours Weve even had local, Emmy-award winning film makers out to talk about Tiger Stadium and the old Hudsons building and the importance of historical preservation Extras: Refreshments and light snack Literature about the librarys local history resources, class information Marketing: Newsletter, website, flyers to senior centers, churches, funeral homes, and residential facilities

53 Oral History Projects Program Description: We experimented first by inviting three local veterans of WWII to participate in a panel discussion about their experiences during WWII. To create hype for the event, we worked with the Chelsea Senior Center and staged a special luncheon to honor our veterans. The luncheon was provided by and held at the CSC. The following week we invited the community to come to the library for the panel discussion, which we captured on film. We asked each veteran a series of questions and gave them time to respond. After, we encouraged the audience to ask questions as well. Why does this work? Remember what I said about not waiting for the information to come to you, be in the business of creating content. Rebrand the library and youll help us all remain relevant As you know, WWII veterans are dying off at a rate of over 1000 per day. We wanted to take action and capture some local heros testimonies and preserve it for historical record. With our video editing software, our plan is to convert their testimonies to tape and burn them on a DVD which we will then place in our collection. My dream was that 50 years from now their great, great, grandchildren could come in and see for themselves their relative on tape. Again, we are creating the content instead of waiting for it to come to us Wonderful way for you to network and partner with local historical groups and museums, who often struggle for funding themselves. We work together to achieve common goals and then share our materials Can you imagine the goodwill you create in the community when sons, daughters, and grandchildren come back to us and bend over backwards to thank us for recognizing their parent in this way. You cant buy that kind of feedback

54 One Room Schoolhouse Project Due to the success of this World War II project, the Chelsea Senior Center and the library partnered again and we were recently awarded with a $6000 grant to do another, more extensive oral history project about one- room school houses. At one time, there were 24 one-room school houses in the Chelsea area. Our idea is to interview the students and teachers about their experiences at these institutions. Although this started as a partnership, you better believe this is something that the entire community is going to rally around, from the schools to the historical museum. The concept is the same. We interviewed and captured on film these people and preserved it for the historical record. There has been a tremendous buzz and we have had people contacting us from all over the country, who grew up in Chelsea and wanted to be a part of this special project. We staged special events to set up an environment in which to film former students and capture their stories, including: - Special luncheons - A picnic at a local farm - A visit to a one-room school house that is still functional and standing

55 One Room Schoolhouse Project

56 Oral History Project: Next Phases Five-Year Plan: Year One: Veterans History Project To collect and preserve the stories of wartime services of local veterans Our primary focus is on first-hand accounts of U.S. Veterans from the following wars: * World War I ( ) * World War II ( ) * Korean War ( ) * Vietnam War ( ) * Persian Gulf War ( ) * Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts (2001-present) Year Two: Landmarks of Chelsea Collect interviews with the surviving workers and members of the plant as well as provide a history of the facility and its ultimate fate. Federal Screw Works began in 1913 in Chelsea. The plant moved to its location on South Main in 1917 due to its closeness to a Consumers Power substation, which powered the Detroit Urban Railroad. The plant survived the depression to make a strong recovery during World War II, when it produced artillery shells and other weapons for the war effort. From a post-war peak of 250 employees in 1959, the plant declined to 131 employees by 1997, and only 37 in 2005, when it closed its doors during a restructuring. To include the following: Federal Screw Works, Hospital, Clock Tower, CRC, Old prison, old mill, the Library

57 Oral History Project: Next Phases Year Three: Village Life: Founding Families of Chelsea/Family Farming Whether your family came from Germany in the early 1800s and has lived in the Chelsea area ever since or you moved here from Detroit in the 1920s, we want to collect a record of the many different experiences that have added to our community over time, as told by Chelsea area families. Year Four: Chelseas Advancement As Arts Community As told by stories of Purple Rose, Jeff Daniels, Common Grill, Chelsea Center for the Arts, River Gallery, Chelsea Gallery, Sounds & Sights, SummerFest. For ex., interview people who visit Purple Rose & Common Grill (Why did you come? Where did you come from? How did you hear about it?) Ask businesses, why did they choose Chelsea? Year Five: History of Jiffy Mix Chelsea Milling Company has been operating by a family whose roots in the flour business dates back to the early 1800s. The family has been milling flour in Chelsea for over 120 years. Cynthia Furlong Reynolds, author of Our Hometown and Jiffy book could be our project go to person.

58 Stories of Chelsea

59 About: Formed in 2009, the Library-Biz Connect includes Washtenaw Community College, the Chelsea District Library, Small Business Development Technology Center (SBDTC), Food System Economic Partnership, Art Meets Business, and SCORE Goal: The groups aim is to educate the business community about resources available through their local libraries and business service organizations; offer library programming that will guide small business owners to results-driven resources, and combine current resources to broaden the boundaries of its impact. The mission of the Library-Biz Connect is to provide access to a network of business and support services for new and existing small businesses. What We Provide: One on One Counseling Business Workshops (Business, Plans, Marketing Plans, Funding, Start Up, etc.)

60 Program Title: Low Vision Service Center The Library and Lions Club of Chelsea have joined forces to help people with vision impairments maintain their independence through the use of optical, non-optical, or electronic vision aids. With the help of a $3,000 donation from the Lions Club, we plan to install a low vision service center in the first floor lobby, which we hope will become the resource center for people with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and other eye diseases resume activities like hobbies or work that they thought they could no longer do because of their vision. The Center will consist of a glass case that will house low vision equipment including a variety of magnifiers ranging in power, which may be borrowed for up to three weeks for an at-home trial, free of charge. Nearly two dozen state of the art, handheld and stand magnifiers will be available, all of which incorporate an LED light that has a life span of up to 10,000 hours, illuminating the magnifiers entire visual field! The equipment is lightweight and can be placed on top of a newspaper or book page allowing the user to slide the magnifier across the text with relative ease. In addition, the library will also feature a Merlin Reading Machine, a powerful, auto-focus desktop magnifier that benefits those with poor eyesight. The reading machine can be used to magnify photo images, book pages, magazines, or newspapers. The operation is user friendly and requires only basic instructions. Boasting an ergonomic design, this flexible desktop magnifier allows you to pivot and adjust the screen to suit your most comfortable viewing position.

61 Program Title: Kids Read Comics

62 About the Convention Generations of kids have grown up reading and loving comics. And its not hard to see why comics have captured the imagination of kids and teens with their unique blend of words and pictures, even the most everyday comics stories open up worlds of wonder. And beyond the sheer joy of comics is the fact that they can help turn kids into more active and engaged readers. They also provide a model for young readers to explore and develop their own creativity. But comics are no longer the mass medium they once were. Far fewer kids are exposed to them today, and many of the comics they find are intended for older readers. Thats where Kids Read Comics comes in! Our Kids Read Comics Convention is a totally free event that unites kids, teens, parents, teachers and librarians with professional artists and writers from the comics and animation fields. Our goal is to introduce kids to worlds of imagination while unlocking their creative impulses, and to serve that goal, the convention features: hands-on workshops panels and presentations for kids, families, and educators a chance for kids to meet and chat with comics and animation professionals the opportunity for kids to have their own art portfolios reviewed KRC also works throughout the year to promote comics and creativity for kids and teens. Were building a recommended reading list; gathering resources for parents, teachers and librarians; and organizing artists and writers who can bring presentations and workshops to libraries around the state of Michigan and beyond. Kids Read Comics was founded by youth and teen librarian Edith Burney of Chelsea, cartoonist and educator Jerzy Drozd of Ann Arbor, comic shop owner Dan Merritt of Dearborn, and comic book writer Dan Mishkin of East Lansing. You can reach us at Notes: The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs awarded the Chelsea District Library, on behalf of Kids Read Comics, a grant of $5600!

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