this week is national library week and to celebrate my digital literacy students and i took over a significant chunk of gleeson library.
we began the project three weeks ago when i asked the students two questions: what do you love about the library? and what do you wish the library had? the next week we met in class to discuss our ideas, dreams, and designs and to let our individual intelligence and imagination weave collectively. last week, USF librarian vicki rosen joined us in class and we talked about which dreams and designs could and would become real.
last night we assembled in gleeson library to build our project. we began with this space:
earlier in the week, amber asked us to email her the titles of five or so of our favorite books and a sentence or two about why we dig them. and poof! we had a student-generated book exhibit. amber and steve arranged them on a shelf, posted our brief annotations, and added a sign-up sheet for library goers to add their own favorites.
meanwhile, steve and blake designed two treasure hunts with clues hidden in books distributed across the library. inspired, perhaps, by bryan alexander's ideas about alternative reality games, or ARGs, or influenced by the librarian in black's ideas about library treasure hunts, steve and blake's treasure hunts encourage students to explore and discover the library and its nearly infinite resources and materials. plus, the two lucky people who follow the clues to the treasure hunt's finish will find some pretty cool gift certificates.
all of us were eager to create a comfortable space to read in the library so we hauled in comfy chairs and set up two small tables to generate a living room-like vibe. influenced by kelly quinn's ideas about flip books, blake took photos of gleeson library, designed original jacket covers, bound the photos and covers into flip books, and set them out on our coffee table. totally cool.
we wanted to learn what other students thought about the library so lulu spent a day interviewing USF students asking them what they loved about the library and what they wished the library had. then, lulu and lis spent a day taking photographs, beautiful photographs, of the library - of the building, of students reading, of students at computers, of students collaborating with one another - and designed a five minute audio slideshow. every librarian should watch and listen to what lulu and lis made. once we figure out how to lock down a laptop, we will incorporate it into our project.
ever since kelly quinn's guest lecture, many of the students, include kelly, lis, and sara got fiercely interested in creating inspired public spaces. between the three students, there was talk of a canopy made of book covers, a tent covered with books, and many other wonderful ideas. sara surprised us all by bringing in a fort! sara and lis assembled the fort and covered it in colorful book jackets and a reading fort was built.
and yet, structural engineers we are not. during the night, tragedy struck and the fort fell!
so this morning, undeterred and armed with tape, sara and i rebuilt the fort and all is well in gleeson library.
happy national library week!