Archive for the ‘voter education’ Category

Interim Central Library Director Candy Bertelson recently posted to the project listserv to share what Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon is doing for their September Project, Banned Books Week, Freedom to Read, and the 2008 Election.

Their events include:

Writers Talking: Join Jewel Lansing who will discuss her book Portland: People, Politics, and Power, 1851-2001. Ms. Lansing was one of the first two women elected to Multnomah County government office and, since her retirement in 1986, spends her time researching and writing about history. This presentation will include a brief introduction to the history of politics in Portland, OR. Sunday, September 21, 1-2 p.m., Central Library

Vote 2008: Join Jim Moore, Professor of Political Science at Pacific University, for a discussion about the presidential hopefuls and the race to date.  Enjoy Dr. Moore’s commentary, bring questions for the group, and prepare to get involved in the debate.  Sunday, September 28, 1-2 pm, Central Library

Café Banned: Celebrating the Freedom to Read: Lawyer Steven T. Wax will be our guest speaker. As head of the Oregon Federal Public Defenders’ Office, Mr. Wax was responsible for representing inmates at Guantánamo. He also represented Brandon Mayfield, an Oregon lawyer who was falsely linked to the Madrid train station bombing. His book, Kafka Comes to America: Fighting for Justice in the War on Terror – A Public Defender’s Inside Account, examines this and other cases and the erosion of civil liberties in the wake of 9/11. Saturday, October 4, 1-2:30 p.m., Central Library

Ballot Measures 101: November Election Issues You Should Know About: Join the League of Women Voters of Oregon for a presentation and discussion about local ballot measures in the November election. Monday, October 20, 6:30-7:45 pm, Hollywood Library, and Wednesday, October 22, 6:30-7:45 pm, Central Library.


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All eight branches of the Arapahoe Library District, a public library system serving more than 200,000 residents living in Arapahoe County and other major suburban counties that make up the greater metropolitan area surrounding Denver, Colorado, are participating in this year’s September Project in a big way. It’s exciting when entire library systems get involved in the September Project, especially when each of the branches organizes different events for their different communities.

On a map, Arapahoe Library District’s participation in the September Project looks like this:

Librarians at Arapahoe Library District have decided to dedicate the whole month of September to Democracy @ Your Library and will be having voter registration and will be distributing constitution booklets at four of their branches. Further, all eight libraries will sponsor September Projects. As Cindy Mares, Program Coordinator at Arapahoe Library District, posted to the September Project listserv, their children, teen, and adult September Project events include:

Children’s Programs:
Wheels Parade and Crafts for Kids – Bring your decorated bike, wagon, or stroller for a patriotic parade around the parking lot! Make a craft to take home and top off the fun with cookies and lemonade!
Red, White and Blue Wreath – Make a wreath of red, white and blue foam and listen to a patriotic story. Ages 4+
Beaded Patriotic Pin Craft – Make a patriotic pin to wear and listen to a story about America. Ages 6-11.
Presidential Plane Race – Build a red, white and blue airplane to race for prizes and listen to a story about our country.
National Treasure: Two groups race to steal the Declaration of Independence and outwit each other and the FBI in order to find hidden treasure. A great action movie!
Shooting Star Memory Box – Keep your American memories in a sparkly box you decorate yourself.

Teen Programs:
Movie Night:
First Daughter:  Samantha wants to be a normal college student, but with the Secret Service protecting her, it doesn’t look likely.
Book Club:
First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover: Sameera, adopted Pakistani daughter of a Presidential candidate, is getting a makeover to make her appear more “American”. But what makes someone an American?  (A copy of the book will be available to the first 10 teens who register.)
Win Your Argument!  Do you like to debate multiple topics with your friends, teachers or parents? Learn the great art of successful persuasion; then apply those techniques to the issues that affect your life!

Adult Programs:
Ballot Speak – Learn about the issues that will be on the Colorado Ballot in November. The League of Women Voters will present an objective view that will help you make informed decisions.
Highline Silver Cornet Band – Enjoy lively patriotic music from the late 19th Century with the Highline Silver Cornet Band.
UltraSoniX Quartet – Members of the Denver MountainAires Barbershop Chapter present a patriotic tableau of soul-stirring red, white and blue tunes with a special tribute to Bob Hope’s USO Shows that toured the armed forces at a time when worldwide freedom was in peril.
Health Care: Issues & Options – With over 40 million uninsured Americans and spiraling health care costs, the need for a better health care system is clear to most Americans. Join Active Minds to look at our options, including how other nations of the world address the issue of health care for their citizens.

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Last week, Beaufort Branch Library adult events programmer Amanda Brewer emailed the September Project listserv to share the following news:

The Beaufort Branch Library in Beaufort, SC is a medium-sized library located along the beautiful South Carolina coast known as the Lowcountry. This is our first time joining the September Project!

As the adult events programmer, I have planned two special events in addition to our usual book clubs and computer classes for the month of September that fit the aims of the September Project. Our programs are:

1) Saturday Movie: Saturday, Sept. 13th
National Treasure: Book of Secrets, PG open to all ages

Treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates is back and looking to discover the truth behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He finds John Wilkes Booth’s diary and is determined to uncover the mystery within the 18 missing pages in this great action adventure.

2) Brunch with Ben Franklin, Saturday, Sept. 27th

Historical impersonator and professor emeritus, Ed Beardsley, will be performing as Benjamin Franklin during an all ages brunch. [See Beardsley as President Woodrow Wilson!] As participants enjoy a hearty breakfast of waffles, muffins, and fresh fruit, they will learn about the formation of the Constitution from an entertaining Ben Franklin.  At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to mingle with Ben Franklin asking questions and snapping pictures.

You heard that right: “As participants enjoy a hearty breakfast of waffles, muffins, and fresh fruit, they will learn about the formation of the Constitution from an entertaining Ben Franklin.” It is exciting to see so many of this year’s September Projects involving food and community meals! I hope folks at Beaufort Branch Library and ol’ Ben Franklin will take a lot of photographs because these events sound delicious.

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This morning, Nan Carmack, Director of the Campbell County Public Library System, posted to the September Project listserv to share her library’s events:

Campbell Co. Public Library System, in rural Virginia, will be participating by displaying feature titles as well as the Banned Books Exhibit from the Long Island Coalition Against Censorship (in conjunction with Banned Books Week)

We will be also be having an essay contest for local high schoolers on the importance of voting in governmental elections, with a cash prize.  We haven’t developed the guidelines yet–guess I’d better get cracking!

I think this event is smart and exciting for many reasons. First, it’s great to see libraries planning September Project events in conjunction with already existing national (US) events like Banned Books Week and Constitution Day. Second, when it comes to town-gown collaborations, what could be better than a public library working with a public high school to encourage students to think about, express, and share the importance of voting? Third, Nan has organized September Projects in the past — when she was Events and Marketing Coordinator for Bedford (VA) Public Library System — and when it comes to publicizing library events she’s an expert and an innovator.

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