since wednesday, i've been in warsaw, poland, where i've been giving talks, listening to talks, and receiving a crash course on polish history, culture, new media, and democracy.
on thursday morning, joe rospars and i were part of a panel at the FOR foundation, whose goal is to promote civic activity in polish society. as a founding partner of blue state digital and the new media director for barack obama's presidential candidate, joe shared fascinating insights into various aspects of the campaign and the ways in which they employed new media to empower grassroots organizing and participation. i shared stories about my students and how they make media, share media, and converse and collaborate via media. i also briefly introduced the september project, a grassroots effort to encourage free and public events about issues that matter in all libraries in all countries throughout the month of september. a lively conversation followed. thankfully, a member of the FOR foundation, maciek pilaszek, blogged about the event.
from there, i was taken to the beautiful biblioteka publiczna m. st. warszawy, a branch within the warsaw public library district, for a talk organized by the national library. i explained how my students use digital media to highlight library resources (for example, students blogging about gleeson library's graphic novels exhibit) and, conversely, how my students use library resources to enhance their digital media production (for example, students using gleeson library resources to edit and enhance USF's wikipedia page). i also shared stories about what happens when students take over the library to educate each other and the larger campus community about the 2008 election. finally, i introduced the september project and invited polish libraries to participate in next year's events.