Escaping from Normality


Kudos are in order. As Classic Upward Bound headed out in the wee hours of the morning for Lancaster, Pennsylvania on college tours to Franklin and Marshall, to Lebanon Valley College, and ultimately to Hershey Park’s escape room, one single event defined everyone as a group.
No, it was not the question asked of tour guides at the colleges, no, it was not the discovering what everyone’s “feel” was for the campus they were experiencing – it was their ingenuity and generosity when put under pressure, and in an escape room situation.


The seniors at times, knowing the answer to riddles, puzzles, and ciphering cryptic message, stood aside to let others give everyone their opinion, ideas, suggestions. Freshmen who came into the escape room and who felt no one wanted to listen to them or that they themselves might not have anything to contribute, found places where every single member contributed to getting out of that escape room – be it using a laser and strategically targeting onto a mirror, that revealed a message across the room, helped shift letters representing other letters to reveal YET another message, using magnets to guide a key from between walls sight unseen, to countless other on the cuff moments, the seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen team in my escape room team were simply AMAZING.


If you thought the above sentence was quite along sentence and knocking your breath out, you know now how it felt to see everyone work together to use talents they did not exist to work together – pretty darn great. It was awesome to see them all come together and see HOW they did is, the style they did so, and seeing each one of them step up to the plate.


Escaping from being considered average is sometimes difficult for the average high school student to see in themselves, being anything other than average is not usually a recognized trait they see in themselves. It does wonders to point out the intelligence, guts to put one self out even if an idea might not be right, let alone just be willing to be themselves and let them know they are GREAT as what they do. I feel they do not hear enough how wonderful they are in aspects they never even realize about themselves. The hardest part is paying attention sometimes when so much is happening to recognize the great moments they do succeed, and often in things that many might consider insignificant – but are really not.


All these realizations from a very talented group of individuals that I feel, underestimate their abilities to change much around them. I saw it happening simply from one very intense, long, challenging, voyage from one state to another. But the exchanges they became involved in made a story of how much they were and are capable of in a variety of situations. Sounds cliche, but the many way Upward Bound students show they are Upward Bound was proven today – looking forward to Hershey Park tomorrow with a very talented group of students!

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On the Move.,.

From ALA Conference, Friday June 24, 2022

I know the last time I recorded the ALA 2022 Conference I had not yet dived into the first day of the conference, attending Library of Congress sessions before the Conference – Thursday June 23rd –

https://harrybrake.com/2022/06/26/checking-into-ala-2022-post-pandemic/

https://harrybrake.com/2022/06/27/folk-life-collections-breathing-air-into-primary-documentation/

https://harrybrake.com/2022/07/06/not-on-federal-records/

and I suggest to ANYONE that has not been to the actual Library of Congress, PLEASE visit. I made a point to see some amazing exhibits within, you can take a peek here:

Visiting the Library of Congress before ALA 2002 Conference

So, the first day of the Conference, Friday June 24th at 8:00 AM I needed to check out the World on the Move exhibit and see if this coming to Delaware might be a possibility. Here are the notes from that conference workshop:

Investigating information surrounding The World on the Move exhibit that was currently on display a few blocks away at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial library (note, have to not forget the booked tour of that public library later tomorrow!), I was intrigued.

Cosponsored by the American Anthropological Association and the Smithsonian Folklore Division, many aspects of this exhibit, explored aspects of a former exhibit, exploring race. This interactive, virtual experience on race is a powerful tool to question and discuss race and everyday situation that w we all find ourselves in, yet some individuals experience so differently and many take those differences for granted. This Exploring Race site is pretty amazing.

I was saddened to know this World on the Move exhibit was open to display for only public library and not school libraries, but I settled in to see if I could configure a Delaware stop.

It was stressed that everyone has a migration story in their family, somewhere. “Crossroads” is a concurrent them that was emphasized in this exhibit. This exhibit inhabits 1000 square feet and addresses these four questions:

  1. Where do we come from?
  2. Why do we move?
  3. How does migration change us?
  4. Where are we going?

The aspect that drew me in was there were interactive elements to this exhibit. There is a portion that encourages individuals to share their journey and drop tokens in the correct tube that best describes their journey story.

Next, A magnetic board mimics a suitcase and asks individuals what they would bring and allows visitors to place magnetic items in the suitcase pictured of what, indeed, they would bring with them. Thirdly, There is an opportunity to share their story at the exhibit. Finally, there are flipbooks as part of this display that each tell a story related to migration in some format.

Looking back on that mention of crossroads as a theme, the idea of sharing the views of displacement, and sharing stories of nation building begins to be revealed. I I recalled Tabitha Lord’s mention of worlds building in her science fiction and my mind flashed back to that idea!)

Another focus of the exhibit was focused on the Mediterranean Basin Beringia – as this is one of the largest migration areas in the world ( I would have NEVER realized this!). Salvatore Martello, mayor of Lampedusa, questions how many groups should be welcomed, even despite the fact the numbers have caused Lampedusa to literally collapse? His question raises the question of accepting migrants without restrictions and the implications of these actions. A second note was made about how close Alaska and Russia are and were from the Beringia bridge and how we are seeing such climatic change, shared closely when you look at the Beringia/Alaska/Russia geographic area and seeing the shared climate change that is occurring.

A second geographic focus of the exhibit is Central Africa in the areas of Chad, the Congo, Nigeria, and Angola areas to name a few. The controversial eras of the Dutch colonial rule plays an important role here with a theme of the shadow of a shadow. This helps create a focus and discussion of how colonialism plays in migration as well as artists now making a resurgence gaining back lands. The mention of Aime Mpane’s art was a great reference to how this artist is able to represent so much about authentic African history due to his art.

A final area of focus is the East L.A. area focused on in this exhibit. This area, the largest Latino population is also a hub and center of Chinese activism dating back to Japanese Internment moments in history. Additionally, topics of structural racism and gentrification are brought out for discussion. Presenters Raul Gonzalez has good presentation on this topic – https://prezi.com/user/z0fwrhfz9qfo/ and a focus on the L.A. artist Nico Avino is worth investigating. A great look at this Boyle Heights area can be found in the Boyle Heights Beat. All of these resources do much to address so many extensions of migration,

Some of the details of this exhibit are that winning public libraries that receive a winning acceptance of this exhibit coming receive a $500.00 stipend to support extended activities tied to this focus, Also, the proposal process opens October 10, 2022 and due by November 10. 2022. The exhibit itself is focused on Middle to High school audiences. The start of the exhibits would officially be March 2023 to August 2025.

I like the fact that community based organizations, as well as community an local colleges, universities, anthropology, historical, and civic groups could have a role to play in bringing this exhibit to Delaware.

So, What do you think would be strengths and benefits of this exhibit coming to Delaware? I see many ties to Delaware based on areas of discussion from the above geographic areas, but the next post, I will elaborate on extensions that this exhibit could have beyond the exhibit itself.

When I was at the ALA Conference, I took photos of the World On the Move exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. public Library in D.C..  

1) Questioning individuals of where they are from, what they consider home, how they are able to show where they call home and how they have arrived here involves areas of history, science, geography, and identity.  As the first state, I believe these are all able to be examined through the lens of school and public libraries, and hoped the public would see how parallel and related, as well as valuable it is for both areas of librarians are, together.

I attended the workshop on this session as well.  These things stuck out to me:

2) Another librarian at ALA asked the question of how can small rural areas like Delaware compete with larger areas vying for this exhibit, such as L.A,, Chicago, New York?  The answer was the meaning, importance, and value of who receives these exhibits is in the power of the proposal.  The encouragement to involve institutions like Discover Bank, Museums, etc was mentioned as part of the proposal. My idea was we get testimonies and support from public librarians AND school librarians, as well as school educators, businesses, civic groups, (Communities in Schools, Wellness Centers, etc) The Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Historical Society, The Delaware Humanities, anthropologists in the state, coalitions like Mr. Chraskta has asked us to gather for advocacy, to show how public and school librarians need support, maybe in slightly different areas, but I think this is also a way to bing groups together that have been segregated in advocacy before.

3) The more groups and individuals that can play a part in advocating reasons why this display, interactive, informative, and focuses on families, can emphasize the history of diverse groups that are found in libraries, as well as in the state of Delaware, the better chance we have of having an ironclad proposal to come to Delaware and be one of many beacons of how school and public libraries need more support, advocacy, and legislation to exist and grow.  

4) I believe we can make extensions that would be invaluable to this exhibit, like record weekly stories that can beome podcasts based around this exhibit, use greenscreen and 3D technology to enhance this exhibit, and so much more that can use this exhibit like a One Book Project, showing multiple extensions of both libraries in public and school arenas, through one source like this exhibit.

More to come, but this is a preliminary introduction to this exhibit, and Georgetown has become the focus since it seems the space allowed would be able to accommodate this display.  I am all in to support this and would LOVE to be the first proposal the day the proposals open to hit their desks, and be the strongest argument on the desk to have this exhibit come here!

https://www.dclibrary.org/exhibits/worldonthemove

https://www.americananthro.org/AttendEvents/event.aspx?EventID=57093

I would love your ideas and feedback as we make a strong case for bringing this exhibit to Delaware!

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Get Ready for AMAZINGness!

Tomorrow is the Upward Bound gallery walk and showcase from the last 6 weeks of student work and let me tell you, WHOA. Here s the email I sent to each of them below, you will be amazed when you see what they have accomplished (I will have video and photos for you!)

Breaking out projects on the second week to conquer.

Dear Upward Bound students,

Just a quick note, I was able to get a quick peek into the gallery work created tonight, from all the individual classes projects, WHOA. it is amazing. If you did not finish today, and can, I would HIGHLY advise you, reach out email to your teacher, or get there early tomorrow and give a heads up – and try to be a part and be represented.

It is AMAZING. The projects made for each class and representing your work in each class are A M A ZIN G! I have people from NOT affiliated in Upward Bound hearing and asking about it, and it is going to be an AMAZING representation of how you transfer your creativity, to the classes, to you, yourself. I am so excited! Please remember to thank your teachers because trust me, they stayed way after today to best represent you tomorrow.

For work study, I am equally impressed. In FOUR weeks we did what most can;t do in 8 weeks, and we did not really have more then 4 weeks with other scheduling have-to’s and this stuck with me-

When I ran the Newsroom for the Model United Nations simulation in Mexico City, a the American school, we had FOUR DAYS to cover every country’s news, crisis, etc and create a DAILY newspaper, TWICE a day! – printed and electronic, to distribute to all embassy representatives, students, parents, etc.. It seemed like chaos when you walked into our student newsroom and we were scrambling all over the place., and yet, whoa the things we completed!

Today, if you came into the computer lab, you saw people yelling, asking, worrying, scrambling like MAD and yet, think about what we accomplished today. We literally worked on over 6 different projects in a short amount of time and got alot – I MEAN ALOT done. Wait until you see tomorrow what some of these students did with individual class projects, and the NUMBER of projects EACH student in work study finished in 4 weeks, some finished 4- 5 DIFFERENT projects in this time frame – and if there EVER was a simulation of real life and rising above the challenges, it was here-

I am so so proud of each of you. Amazing things you will see represented tomorrow and remember, it is still not too late to get your project done and be represented tomorrow, it will be worth it if you do – if I can help, let me know.

Tonight, I have TWO students already practicing their work study presentation on zoom so we can see where they need to tweak their presentation, I am amazed and VERY proud of what all of you have done, and STILL can do 🙂

Mr Brake

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In What World Can You Imagine…

“Are we still meeting at the trail at 7? Me and ________ are coming?” -This text message, following one of the hottest and most productive days at The Vince Morris Trail at Chapel Branch came and went as I was in a deep, deep, sleep following the previous sweat shop day of productivity with the 5th week of our Upward Bound Work Study and students with The Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy rolling forward. The call I received 15 minutes later woke me to the realization that students were waiting at the nature trail this morning.

What will students see if given a chance?

I was disoriented, not hearing from students the night before, and thinking Saturday, a no go to gain more hours on Saturday, so imagine my surprise realizing some were waiting for me the next morning! A little dread filled my push to fall out of bed and quickly get ready and throw the necessary items needed to survive an early morning, a VERY hot morning, in a 10 minute rush to get to the meeting spot. I also thought, “Most people would be annoyed, I think, at not hearing from someone the night before, but I would be annoyed not knowing and I am not at all!” Not annoyed or bothered at all, I followed that thought with, “In what world do you have students, up early, on a weekend, calling you to say where are you, we are ready to work despite a scorching hot morning, let’s do it!” – I was quite proud of the initiative these students had already showed on a heat advisory day, this early in the morning.

I was counting on a in and out of what we needed to do day, grabbed the dogs, with a little foreboding of how they would handle the heat, grabbed a few coolers and icepacks, water, etc. from the adventure of the day before. took out items of the car and set them aside- items I had not taken out yet, moved to pack last minute survival items quickly, dogs in, and hit the trail.

The heat was already blasting as I was pulling in, objectives of the day shared quickly with students, dogs already panting, we dived into the nature trail. For 1.5 miles, we videotaped every single course direction for what would be a 3.1 mile XC (Cross Country) trail, so athletes would know BEFORE hitting the course, the direction to follow- took notes of all intersections/turns that needed directional color matching poles, AND wrote the directions out by hand.

Within the first five minutes of walking the trail, everyone was soaked to the skin. Being asked, “Is that steam rising from your shirt?” was quite funny, as everyone realized the wonders of the heat we were seeing, even being in the canopy of the nature trail. In three hours, the XC trail had been videotaped, narrated, and written down. Dogs were on the ground after having stopped several times along the way due to heat, having lapped up water, trying to find hiding shady spots under the benches, and looked as if their time was done for the outside. Recovering at the end by inhaling freezer pops and bottles of water, objectives were made to accomplish tasks for work study this weekend, and everyone realized how hard and difficult, yet rewarding, what had been accomplished in three hours in the AM on Saturday. Another amazing accomplishment tacked on to yesterday’s achievements.

The realization of images seen that morning, from more works of art found in spiderwebs, mushrooms, and light rays in various parts of the woods – to the chorus of birds surrounding us in the canopy, the awe of such a treasure in a community’s own back yard still remained.

Looking back on the day before, July 22nd and 23rd post:


and taking in the events of today, a SECOND day of pushing through to get all done, in a record pace – I realized a few things-

Brick and mortar buildings are not needed – when you have plans, goals, creativity, and believers of all those three categories, The power we have in our community often cannot be seen, it is in the on-the-cusp-revolutionary ideas that can be enacted to change communities that our youth have, and can be channeled to do some extraordinary feats in our community, things that can’t be seen do not mean they can’t be created and implemented.

Secondly, I realized the power of a licensed Information Science Librarian – the power of young people to achieve some amazing things in a short amount of time, in an unorthodox way, in creative ways that motivate the certified librarians themselves, as well as those that surround them, that unharnessed power can change whole state; can you imagine if that power was present in every single school? What we accomplished in two days could be accomplished EVERY SINGLE DAY in and out of school with the correctly motivated, supported, and certified Information Science Librarian. What many failed to see was how these professionals can impact all areas of their positions, in and out of school.

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“Librarying” Inside and Out

Before we dive in to the actual first day of the American Library Association Conference, what seems as alot of information already received from the ALA Annual PreConference, I felt it necessary to actually tour/visit the inside of the Library of Congress, not recalling that I actually ever had? Kind of ironic but what a collection of exhibits to see!

Lofty ceilings and ornate architecture cemented my beliefe in the celebration of literacy, education, and knowledge as represented by the U.S. government.

This easily reminded me of the daily views you would see in any Mexican/European city of architecture to celebrate so much in the form of accomplishments on a variety of levels, all surrounding the pursuit of knowledge and my interest in what librarianship brings to the masses.

The images honestly do not do justice to the lofty views of the Reading room, then taking in the inside and out images – everything was astounding and exciting to see first-hand.

Images I did not take, but worth the look – absolutely, were Jefferson’s Library collection, Mapping and Growing a Collection, The Not an Ostrich Photo exhibit (the American images captured here were 100% captivating to say the LEAST), Discovering the LOC’s extensive graphic novel and Comic collection (largest in the world I believe?), coming across George Gershwin’s exhibition and celebration of music,it was overwhelming and yet rewarding to see so many extensive views of collections, and ultimately tied to the ALA Annual Conference.

The sprinking of exhibits that ranges from states joining what would be known as the United States, to the anniversary of the Watergate Scandal, to the Emancipation Proclamation to Juneteenth and what that means to U.S history, all are given a voice.

I could not think of a better way to kick off the feeling of such a valuable conference than starting from within.

The lofty views did not disappoint with every detail symbolic of knowledge.

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School Librarian Summer Checklist

Oh yes, summers off, right? We know the old misconception of this theory. I decided to reach out to librarians of every variation and find out what the summer schedule had for them, and WOW! SO MUCH! Hope you see what school librarians “shelve” and circulate with ideas and creativity all summer long. Check it out below from EveryLibrary

The School Librarian Summer Checklist
School librarians around the country share their plans for the summer

The view from the top of the Martin Luther King Jr. library and rooftop garden, while attending the ALA Annual Conference in Washington D.C.
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“…Not on Federal Records…”

The third preconference workshop at the Library of Congress, and the ALA 2022 Conference hadn’t even started yet – and the information received here was enlightening, so I sat wondering, “What would I dare to expect from the conference?!”

Below is the description of the workshop attended –

and I realized after taking in the first initial workshops – Chronicling America

and the LOC (Library of Congress) Folk Life Collection were just broader strokes of a close up look at what this third workshop offered – and allowed users to unearth previously known information.

https://www.neh.gov/explore/chronicling-america-historic-american-newspapers

As the description stated, it was a little known fact to many that took this detail for granted – When searching vital records, as well as the Local History and Genealogy Reference Services, records usually go back to 1870- but not before. Why? African Americans at the time were not on Federal records, during slavery,. and often slave owners had to be researched in order to locate family members that were African American. let that sink in, as it sunk in to my brain throughout this workshop.

The amazing details about this part of the Library of Congress’ section:

There are How To guides and research topics/guides available

There are over 100, 000 local histories to be found, but check an example of the detail that can be given based on say, Prince Georges County in Maryland looking at family records- AMAZING!

There are almost 700, that’s right, SEVEN HUNDRED subsections in the database!

The collections section has such a wide variety of sources/materials – it will surprise you when you start checking out this amazing resource.

A good reminder brought up was the Library of Congress does not have Federal records but does have city directories.

As mentioned in previous posts, the access to the “Chronicling America” database is absolutely free and has countless types of primary sources.

The Ask a Librarian service is also pretty invaluable to many individuals as librarians from the Library of Congress are available extensively. I also like the clause that they are willing to get you in the correct direction, but will not be doing the research for you, a common phrase that is often expressed from an educator to student.

The best advice was what Ahmed Johnson passed on knowing the scarce information it was to find genealogy informartion on African American family trees – ” Look on places not so obvious.” – Examples he provided in this workshop were utilizing research guides on the Local History and Genealogy Reference Services page,

https://www.loc.gov/rr/genealogy/?&loclr=reclnk

digging into the regimental histories that enlisted individuals during the war, looking into the extensive collection of periodicals collection from the digital collections and the Chronicling America Project. Vital records and starting with yourself are also the advice Mr. Johnson passed on as well as a treasure of clues like investigate the oldest member in your family, as well as your attic, trunks, etc..

It is worth nothing how interwoven the aspects of research are and often not obvious when starting the process. The initial two workshops the Library of Congress laid the foundation of this principle of how all can truly be connected, and in a world where research often is deemed to be boring, mundance, and not good if achievied if results are not found in the first 20 minutes, one has to question, and instill the question, how good are the results, how accurate are the results found within 20 minutes?

From the Library of Congress, not at home, services like printing, acnestry.com, and services usually needing to be paid for, are free. Another MAJOR resource is the American Memory resource from the Library of Congress.

The largest takeaway so far has been unpacking the depth of the Library of Congress, not continuing to let it appear that the countless resources are just for serious researchers foundf in major academic institutions, and connecting the tools here to many other sites and using the Library of Congress as a tool to learn how to utilize similair research skills across the spectrum of the research process. Ahmed Johnson and Karen Walfall (who has countless informatiion on state resource guides as well) were knoweldgeable enough to let us see how this applies to African American ancestry research, and think now to how many other individuals, groups, and ethnicities these skills can be applied to, bringing students, parents, educators, and professionals all together ina similar way?

There are so many discoveries that need to be found representing so mant aspects of American History, both good and bad. Discovering in this case the challenges in research to African American families due to not being listed on federal records presents a challenge to discover how to utilize research to your advantage when odds are stacked against you. How many other situations, groups, races, ethnicities, contain this same challenge?

Instead of seeing history as always somthing to be ashamed of, the perspective should be taken of how to rise above the challenges utilzing research to learn aspects of who we are as a country, that many might not be aware of. Certainly, the Library of Congress strives to do that on a continual basis. Not a bad way to start the American Library Association Annual Conference, after a long period of Covid. Stay tuned for the first of many informatiive and resourceful days packed with tools you can reignite opprtunities to your patrons, in and out of libraries.

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We Are the Water/Information Protectors – the process in between.

I wish we could meet the author/illustraor of this book…welllll, get ready!

YES! I know! I am only on preconference two (just published) on PRE CONFERENCE DAY ONE! – of my posts but think of it this way – you are getting alot of resources for FREE by checking this blog for the next few weeks :)!!! ALSO since life is often this way, we are going to mix it up and just jump to one particular event a few days ahead, and yes, we will come back to that last preconference overview of resources tomorrow. A shout out to Stephanie who inquired (excellent quality that certified school librarians LOVE!) and address something I posted visually, which often causes a teaser for people to hopefully come back to – but did not catch up with in written form – that occured Saturday of this week – (get all that?!)

My initial post to mark my future post 🙂
Stephanie’s inquiry
Robert comes to the rescue!

So to reiterate – Despite still working on and finishing my posts on the precoference workshop information and dissemination to you’all :), from Monday, June 22nd, I am going to jump real quick to one of many significant and unexpected events occurring during the American Library Association Conference of 2022.

During the ALA conference and between workshops, there was always an opportunity to make your way to the exhibit hall, and find a smattering of authors signing their books and a chance to meet a new author, a new book, etc.. I happened to be wandering on this particular day, eaxctly 5 days past the pre-conference day – and there up to this point has been SO MUCH good information shared, presented, and disseminated, it always seemed unreal.

As I was walking the exhibit hall making sure I did not miss anything that shouldn’t be missed – I happened to see a medium to larger line in front of one of the authors, and I took a closser look. Despite a book appearing pretty amazing with the illustration, the title, We are the Water Protectors, glared out at me. With good reason this was a well desererved accolade and honor. Caldecott Medal award winner!

I decided to take a chance, and went into line, and was able to obtain my own copy of this beautiful text by Carole Lindstrom and illustrator Michaela Goade. As I talked with Ms. Lindstrom, we discovered she had visited Delaware and Ocean City and Bethany Beach and more – but, had no idea about The Vince Morris Trail at Chapel Branch! (GASP!)

Okay, so hold the presses – as the Education and Volunteer coordinator of the NRWC (Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy)- I felt my duty to pass on the address and the invite to The Vince Morris Trail at Chapel Branch, and I did, and she was excited and I think, based on the recent visit to the trail from students at Upward Bound this past Saturday – don’t worry a blog post happening here…

https://harrybrake.com/nanticoke-river-watershed-conservancy-project-page/

…and soon to be updated with what they found – I owed it to the creed of a Master’s Degree earning Information Science earning school librarian to connect the world I know, to someone else who showed us throgh her book the world she knows, and to emphasize the water that surrounds us all – and doing so by showing her the amazing little window we can look in on the Nanticoke with – and it connects with the theme of her book, protectors.

Protectors of our environment, protectors of our school librarians and giving out students the medium, the individual, qualified to bring in qualified writers like Ms. Lindstrom and Ms. Goade to protect our stories that tie us to our community, tie us to the water, tie us to literacy and passing on stories, passing on the ability to create, and on and on- the protection and need for passing this on to generations, making possiblities for creating and connecting all we come into contact with to our immediate environment. Authors do this for us, books do this for us, certified librarians in our schools do this for us, our community leaders can and Do do (not a typo of two do’s by the way!) this for us, and so much more.

Exciting things are happening and we hope you continue to check here to be able to take ideas and opportunities, and see where we can go, who we can pair up with, and what we can do with those possibilities! Thank you Stephanie, thank you Robert and please, if you know from my blogs by now, I always have to get the initial idea down and elaborate and connect later as the syanpses seem to fire way faster than my mouth can get it out (hard to believe, I know, for some!) but, giving each of ourselves the time to be able to go back, reflect, contemplate, and synthesize, and put into action is the ultimate way to fully impact our experience.

The one trick I try to do with blogging, and try to do in writing, is put something out there and hopefully people will want to know more about, and often, this seems to be a good indicator of topics to start conversations, proividing little, and being able to go back and provide more and start a conversation in the process.

Thank you Ms. Lindstron and Ms.Goade for getting this started with your book and we want to meet and greet you at the Vince Morris Trail at Chapel Branch and bring your book to life again and again around us, and ultimately, thanks for providing the incentive and steam to keep pushing past naysayers of why certified librarians, why stories, and why creativity is so important in a world that wants results, and not be aware, or take the time to be aware, of the process in between!

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Folk Life Collections breathing air into primary documentation.

 Preconference Workshop 2 – Thursday – “Chronicling America” Library of Congress Collections

As I found my way to the second pre conference workshop based on folklore and special collections at the Library of Congress, what a revelation! The American Life Folklife Center implements the idea of primary documents in ways that many would not even recognize.

Sr. Folklorist Guhua Shakar, and Oral Histories

Examining the video from Zoharah Simmons, from the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer involving the deaths of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman– reveals the reactions and reflections on race and the extent of discrimination.  The ability to access these records is priceless and Zoharah Simmons’ interview is poignant.

Looking at the abilities of the American Folklife Center to collect the aspects of Cultural Equity, Civil Rights, Expressive Cultures, and the ability to access field notes, letters, manuscripts, live performances, photos, and so many more primary and secondary artifacts.  An examples of one of these exhibits was Herb Ohta.

In looking at oral histories available, looking at projects of Wallace Quarterman (the last remaining freed slave on record), Jelly Roll Morton from 1938, and looking at the culture of Buckaroos from 1982 gives a small, tiny look into the variety that is represented in this collection.

Referencing the Occupational Folklore Project, from the Archie Green Fellowship, many looks at multigenerational African American farms of the Midwest were a unique resource to be worthy of looking into. 

The indigenous perspectives and representation through the Federal Cylinder Project is ASTOUNDING.  Looking at Omaha Indian Music, and the American memory Project, there were some amazing discoveries. Looking at sponsors like the Sustainable Heritage Network, it is offering Cultural Documentation guidelines to help guide people to work on this project and contribute.  Interview guidelines, are provided that help and guide others to continue to contribute to this project as well.

It was also a treasure to see William Saunders’ account of his experience in army life – and again, seeing how racism and how past generations have dealt with, faced, and survived racism is a crucial element of anyone’s education.   This was a GREAT and amazing transition to the Veteran’s History project, and one of the best parts of this project is the fact that the public can play a crucial part of this collection.

With theVeteran’s History Project, and the ability that Owen Rogers from the Library of Congress has enabled the public to be part of this project, I do believe we can all make a huge impact and help with this collection. Former student David Miller’s work should be on the way to the LOC, as I emailed him today. Each of you can help instruct youth with the guides provided to help students learn about archiving and interviewing while contributing to the Library of Congress Veteran’s Project. Any materials or questions you might have about this – can be answered or sent using this email for Mr. Owen Rogers – orog@loc.giv

The Field Guide that is available is one of many documents provided that extend this Library of Congress project beyond a library archive, but one we each can play a vital role in.

I want to say more, but will let this page speak for this project, and it is PERFECT in showing what education should be, learning WHILE doing in every class.

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Checking into ALA 2022 – Post Pandemic

Check out the FIRST workshop, of the FIRST DAY, of the American Library Association Annual Conference, the PRE Conference Workshops at the Library of Congress HERE! 🙂

These were my thoughts going into the ALA Conference before attending.

Much more to come!

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