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SWON News: The Low Down

It's Hero Time

Friday, August 15, 2014  
Posted by: Racheal Mick
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Next year’s Summer Reading Program theme is Heroes, and we’re already thinking about programs you might use.

The Heroes That Inspire Us

Glance at some of the photos from this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego and you might think people love movie heroes for the costumes. Or watch characters on The Big Bang Theory argue about what makes Superman able to fly, and you might think people love superheroes for their powers.

They do, but people also love heroes for the inspiration. They show us examples of facing your fears, facing impossible odds, and coming out the victor. If Frodo could do it, if Katniss could do it, maybe I could do it to.

The Heroes That Divide Us

It’s more complicated when our heroes are real people. People live their lives, they make their choices, and their records can be uncomfortable examples. Obituaries are often more frank about our heroes, like this one about Pete Seeger’s communism, though there was plenty of praise for him, too.

What happens when we discover that we and our heroes disagree? Sometimes we defend them, or try to balance the equation of their lives, as if we could. It’s tempting to retreat to fiction, the fiction of movies or the simplified versions of real events.

I think there’s safety in the hard truths, too. Real-life heroes make hard choices, and sometimes when we look back, we wish they’d chosen differently. We can learn from heroes that they aren’t mistake-free, and that our blunders don’t disqualify us from greatness. Heroes don’t start by succeeding; they start by trying, and that’s something we can encourage–and model–for our patrons.


Summer Reading Workshop: Heroes

Sure there will be superheroes at SWON’s SRP workshop this September, but probably not the ones you expect. Come to this all-day workshop in Hamilton, Ohio, and you’ll hear lots of ideas in six sessions that explore the theme of “Heroes.” Space is limited, so plan ahead to join us on September 22nd. Here’s what you can read more: http://bit.ly/srp2015.


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