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SWON News: The Low Down

It's a Gift

Thursday, February 05, 2015  
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
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Something good happens to you when you share some of your work for free. Whether it’s a bit of tech support or a small kindness, a gift can be a powerful force.

I’ve been doing this with a small arts group in Cincinnati that writes poems for people, a project called Short Order Poetry. We ask what they’d like their poem to be about, which can raise a skeptical look. But when we tell them it’s free, most people give it a try. That leads to a conversation, and often a very personal one, that would not have happened otherwise. We type a poem for them on a manual typewriter and give it to them to take home.

Libraries have long run or hosted free programs that help others. Some host groups like Warm Up America! that knit or crochet hats, afghans and other items for people in need. Libraries host plant and seed swaps that help people expand their gardens, and there are other programs too.

These programs are generally for adults. It’s not that young people can’t crochet or garden, but if you asked kids what they could make that would help others in their community, I bet you’d get fascinating new ideas. Asking that question could start get people thinking about what a library community is, too.

  • Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator

Small Superheroes

The heroes theme for Summer Reading is an opportunity to think about community service. A superhero’s costume takes time, sure, but their reputation is earned by what they do to help others.

At SWON’s upcoming Summer Reading Program Workshop, Heather Semelroth will share a program that partners with local non-profits to help young children help others. She’ll share tips on building collaborative relationships with local organizations as well as program details.

March 18th is the day for this full-day workshop, which features five new talks from our SRP workshop last fall.

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