Archive for the ‘book display’ Category

As mentioned in previous posts, it is hard to define what makes the “perfect” September Project event.  There are no set templates when it comes to designing a good activity, book display or community project.  But from looking at past TSP events, some of the most interesting projects capture the surrounding culture and history of the region.  They inform the community about important topics such as health care, freedom of the press, and sustainability.

In 2008, the BUS-eum of the TRACES museum in St. Paul visited the North Dakota State College of Science.  The TRACES museum deals with a variety of different aspects concerning World War II.  For this exhibit, they focused on Nazi prisoner of war camps that were established in the U.S (Three of these camps were in North Dakota).

The Mildred Johnson Library sponsored the exhibit and also designed a book display about Nazi P.O.Ws.  The display had books by Nazi prisoners and included information about banned books and Constitutions Day.  This TSP event had special relevance at the time due to the troubling news stories about detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

This is just one of the many great events that have been done for The September Project.  When designing events, we encourage librarians to be as creative as possible and to try new ideas!


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Karen M. Chobot, the Director of the Mildred Johnson Library at the North Dakota State College of Science recently shared her library’s event on our project listserv. Her event was a powerful–and painful–learning experience that will undoubtedly remain with her students for some time. We’re pleased and honored that the Mildred Johnson Library is participating once again in the project, and we’re happy to share Karen’s reflections, below:

This year we were lucky enough to schedule a visit from the BUS-eum of the TRACES museum in St. Paul, which visited the campus on Tuesday, Sept. 9. The TRACES museum focuses on events of World War II that have an impact on the people of the Midwest. This year’s traveling bus exhibit concerned the Nazi Prisoners of War, almost 400,000 prisoners who were housed in camps across the entire country. Only 3 of the camps were in North Dakota.

Given the current situation with Prisoners of War, the exhibit was timely and thought-provoking. Almost every one of the students who came to view the exhibit was unaware that we even housed Nazi prisoners in this country, although most of the older staff and public who came did so because they knew of the camps. Some even had relatives who worked in one of the camps in this state.Unfortunately, the TRACES museum is a victim of funding shortages and will probably close in November, though they hope to keep the website open and the Bus traveling, maybe even to Germany next year. Here is the URL: http://www.traces.org/

I now have a window display about the Prisoners, with information from the Bus, as well as some of our books on Nazi prisoners. In addition, my September Project exhibits focus on, as usual, Constitution Day and Banned Books/Freedom to Read. I always hope I can do more, but we have continual funding and staffing issues which make large events impossible.

Reading about everyone’s plans is fascinating and gave me a couple of ideas for other exhibits to do, particularly on voting and electing a president! Thanks for keeping us informed about everyone’s plans, and I hope the Project continues to grow.”

We love reading about the events, too, Karen, and each year we’re inspired by the creativity of the events and the dedication of those who put it all together. Thanks for sharing your event with us, Karen!

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Over the past five years, many libraries have organized September Project events around Banned Books Week (September 27–October 4). There’s plenty of books to choose from, and some libraries have organized events, others designed displays, and some even held theatrical events. But have any ever focused on the books that were challenged in their state? I’m not aware of any, and today I learned of a wiki for books that were challenged in Montana: http://mlaif.pbwiki.com/Montana+Challenged+Books

What an interesting topic, and a good way to spark discussion. Any takers?

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