The September Project Blog

Come here to learn about the goings-on of The September Project, a grassroots effort to foster public events in all communities on September 11.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

day two in chicago: sign up!

Today we talked to librarians from all over the country about the September Project. We learned that many libraries plan to participate in the project this year, but for one reason or another, haven't signed up on the web site. Signing up is easy, and simply places the library on the map so other libraries can see who is participating. And, we've learned that as September nears, all sorts of people start checking out the web site, including people who want to attend events at libraries, people who are interested in volunteering their time, and even press representatives who are looking for a local or national story to cover.

So if you happen to be reading this, and your library is participating in the project, please take a moment to sign up!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

hooray 4 ALA! day one in chicago

Today we went to a great program called Fostering Civic Engagement: Models and Practices for All Libraries. One impressive panelist (out of many) was Nancy Tessman, Director of The Salt Lake City Public Library System.

Nancy spoke eloquently about her library, from the conception to the foundation, to its fruition. As she told her story, I mentally scheduled a trip to Salt Lake City just to spend some time in her library. It sounds like a marvelous place.

Nancy is dedicated to building community. She spoke not of bringing people to the table, but of owning the table. It's a powerful image, one that further defines the library as a community center, as a place for all community members to be a part in shaping. Her library invites everyone to to be creative about how they see this building entering into their lives. Beyond other more traditional uses, she offered examples of libraries being a place for play, such as hosting weddings, dances, and cultural celebrations, like a public break of fast for Ramadan. Nancy spoke of being flexible and open to new ideas, new programs, and new ways to use the library as place.

This the type of place I love hearing about -- and visiting!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

sharing what drives me

A friend asked me last night what was going on with the September Project. I always like hearing this question, because it’s fun to share the project with people, and also good to search my brain for the latest news that’s fit to print. Here’s what I told him:

1. The international scope of the project. This emerging development continues to thrill and encourage me. Hearing from librarians in far away places I may never visit and learning that they too, share a common purpose with the librarians in my neighborhood, fills me with joy and wonderment.
2. The persistent call for collaboration from all corners of the world. In such a fractured world, it’s heartening to hear from people who want to work together, to figure things out, to share, and to learn.
3. My hometown’s involvement. I had to throw in a personal note of what excites me! I spent many years in the Minneapolis area, and have corresponded with librarians from suburban and urban systems, who plan to participate in the project. What a joy it is to know that influential libraries in my life are joining other librarians across the globe in opening their doors to explore democracy, citizenship, and freedom on September 11 of this year.