Friday, May 13, 2016

Civic Systems: Public Libraries

Lee and Evan welcomed us to the downtown branch of the Ypsilanti Library. In preparation for our visit and their Exhibition, the boys conducted a formal interview with Lee's mother, Jenny Hannibal, who works at the library.

First, they showed us around the facility, both the larger collections upstairs and the children's and young adult sections and computer stations downstairs. Then they convened the group in one of the conference rooms for some background on how the library functions and its role in public life.

Finally, Evan and Lee set us up with an activity. They divided the attendees into several groups. Each group received a list of ten items to find in the library. The clever aspect of the activity was that we weren't given simple clues such a a dictionary or a novel. Rather, the boys gave more complex lists that considered different audiences, with items such as a biography that might appeal to a ten-year-old or one of Jane Austen's lesser-known novels. This gave the activity more complexity and proved an interesting challenge.

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