Chatting with our Director, Joanne Lamothe, I find that she was reading the Broadsider online. The focus of the reading was an article about Kaitlin Meiss, Sandwich High School senior. I am not laying any claim to fame here, but I do want to remark that Kaitlin has been an amazing supporter of our library as well. She – along with Lili Henderson – was one of our 1st teen Summer Interns last year. Kaitlin and family (actually, the Meiss family is all pretty cool…) have been involved in the library FOR YEARS, and she still devotes some of her time to library teen initiatives. The whole point of this little comment is that this young woman is remarkable. Kaitlin believes in Service to her community. It is an honor and great pleasure to see her accomplishments highlighted in the Broadsider. What a joy….
No, it’s a real thing. (LTAB stands for Louder Than a Bomb, an annual Teen Poetry Slam held in Chicago.) Currently we’re (Deb O’Brien, SHS; Lauren Wolk, Cultural Center & moi) are planning a screening of this amazing doc on teen slam poets in Chicago. Poetry is always fermenting somewhere. I hope you can come to this. Sometime in late March/April. Annual Poetry Night in late April at the Grange….http://www.louderthanabombfilm.com/
Colleen Sullivan, Senior, SHS
During the fall semester of my senior year, I have had the pleasure of volunteering at the Sandwich Public Library as part of my Senior Project. Senior Projects at Sandwich High School are not required, so the entire decision was entirely on my shoulders. I chose the Sandwich Public Library because I had interest in studying library science, as well as to research the changes that the library system has had over time.
I am a person who loves to study change and evolution of processes. I find it very fascinating, especially being a member of the current “Tech
Generation”. People around my age are currently so swept up in a rapid state of technological advances, with changes seeming to take place at an exponentially greater rate than in our parents’ days. I figured that I could take my love of
studying trends and combine it with my love of, quite frankly, just being in a library.
Ever since I was little, the library has definitely felt like a second home to me. I love what this place has to offer: free information, free space, free access. Public libraries have been available to communities for thousands of years. What drew me in to study the area of library science for my research paper and presentation was the wonder (and on my part, worry) about whether or not libraries could last for a few more thousand years. As much as I enjoy the benefits of our rapid acceleration into technology, a lot of it scares me as well. I wanted to know if the introduction of e-books available on iPads or Kindles, or even the fact that so many people have access to a wealth of information on the Internet from their own homes would negatively impact the library.
What I found through my research and volunteering at the Sandwich Public Library was just the opposite however. As far as the librarians’ here are concerned, it seems our town library has no intention of leaving anytime soon. Most of my volunteer work was spent preparing decorations for programs running every week downstairs in the basement. And trust me, the tasks for each program were diverse enough to keep me busy. I was sent to cut out letters for signs and take pictures of the traveling gnomes Gnora and Jolly. I taped Gingerbread Men to the wall and moved furniture to transform a playroom into a Puppet Theater. I cut up old recycled Christmas cards to make brand new, beautiful Christmas ornaments. Most importantly, I witnessed the joy these programs can bring to people.
And it’s free!
That’s the important part. Community. Libraries will stay alive for a few more thousand years because they create a place where many different people can come and hold programs, gather for study groups, use computers, check out books. Where is there another place for that? A place one hundred percent free, in every sense of the word?
To further integrate the technology aspect into my project, my mentor, Kathy Johnson, and I created an online survey using Survey Monkey about improving library service. I asked two computer technology teachers at my school if they would administer the online survey to their freshman classes, and luckily they both agreed. From our survey, Ms. Johnson and I received some excellent feedback from actual teenagers on what they need from the library, if the library has already fulfilled their needs, and what the Sandwich Public Library could improve upon. I think Ms. Johnson will agree that the results were diverse and very honest, if a little blunt at times. But I can personally say that I appreciate the participation, as I am sure the library does as well. The survey is still up on the blog, and anyone is more than welcome to check it out!
I am so thankful that I chose the Sandwich Public Library as the place for my Senior Project. I learned a lot about what it takes to be a librarian in a small venue such as this one, and that it definitely takes a bit of flexibility. I had questions of mine answered as far as the future of libraries is concerned, and was definitely a bit reassured. I love how I was able to use technology to my advantage during my project (i.e. the survey), which actually proved how the Internet, with all its free easy information, can be a huge benefit to bring people in to the library. And honestly, this came as a pleasant surprise to the cynic in me.
Those of you who have been coming to library since, well, since forever…can you take a moment to reflect of how the Children’s Room has changed – or not? Here is an image of another little physical tweak recently added to the environment. Corey Thorpe, an SHS senior of a few years back, also created a table that has graced the Children’s Room. This one was created with the help of Cris Reverdy of Brush Studio, two of her fellow studio artists AND children and adults who dropped by Merchant Square December 10th. Pretty cool. Drop by for old times sake and check out the table. Reflect on your childhood moments at the library….we still enjoy seeing you after all these years.