Monday, April 16, 2012

We made the news! Twice!

Detroit Free Press

Library Journal

Lights, Camera, Action

The outdoor libraries have arrived! We have set up the libraries at locations 1-5 with location number 6 (at the old train station) to arrive in June. Take a look - they are hungry for your book exchange!

More photos are on the way!

Location 1: (Richard Branch - 2201 W Vernor HWY)

Location 2: (Lincoln Library - East 7 Mile Rd)

Location 3: (Vacant Building, Cnr Conant and Minnesota St)

 Location 4: (Forest Avenue park - Cnr East Forest Ave and Iroquois St)

Location 5: (vacant building across the street and then just a little further down from the Monteith Library - Kercheval St)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Banners and Bookshelves

The installation date for our outdoor libraries is getting closer. The college students have been busy putting together bookshelves from confusing instruction manuals and mixing cement to secure our banner poles. But thats not all - the students at Marcus Garvey have been hard at work demonstrating their wonderful painting abilities and helping the college students make banners for the libraries!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Location, location, location

It's official - we have locations! The college students spent a hot spring day driving around Detroit in bright orange bus, scouting out library locations. Keep an eye out for our outdoor libraries, which will be popping up in 6 locations around Detroit in the coming weeks.

Location 1: Richard Library (2201 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit)

Location 2: Lincoln Library (1221 East 7 Mile Rd, Detroit)

Location 3: Vacant building across from Conant-Minnesota Ground (Cnr Conant and Minnesota St, Detroit)

Location 4: Forest Avenue park, right around corner from the Mark Twain Library (Cnr East Forest Ave and Iroquois St, Detroit)

Location 5: Monteith Library - this library is now open on a limited basis, so our location is right across the street! (14100 Kercheval St, Detroit)

Location 6: In the park, right by the old Michigan Central Station (2201 Vernor Ave, Detroit)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Book making has begun!

The students at Garvey have begun writing their stories and making their books!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mission Statement

At its meeting on November 15, 2011, the Detroit Library Commission approved the closure of four branch libraries. The Lincoln, Mark Twain, Monteith, and Richard Libraries will regretfully close their doors, despite the efforts of protestors and fundraisers to save them. The money, members of the The Detroit Library Commission say, was simply too little too late. The city’s public library system faces a projected $17 million budget deficit, and shrinking tax revenues are largely to blame for the system’s budget shortfall. “We cannot operate based upon maybes right now," Detroit Library Commissioner, Jonathan Kinloch says. "The city of Detroit, and particularly the library's finances, are flying off a cliff. So we have to make sound business decisions to adjust to the declining revenue.”
Yvette Bing, the first lady of Detroit, reads to children at the Children's Library in the Detroit Public Library
            Countless families have been affected by the closings. The library can be an invaluable resource in a community. Many locals find hope in the presence of a library, where their children can learn and satisfy their curiosities in a positive environment. Others who do not own computers rely on their library’s computers to conduct everyday business. Most importantly, libraries are not just rooms full of books, but collections of knowledge. Libraries host movie nights and storytelling, provide quiet study and gathering places, and offer tutoring to anyone with a library card. Detroit libraries also teach knitting and crochet, computer skills, tax assistance, jewelry making, and golf. It is our mission to help spread the word of the Detroit Library closings and bring back funding to these sorely missed cultural centers.
            Detroit Connections works closely with children from The Marcus Garvey African Centered Academy in an effort to teach the importance of art and creativity. This semester, students from the University of Michigan are working with 4th graders on a project intended to raise public awareness of our closed libraries. The class was inspired by a quickly growing concept, which originated in Cologne, Germany. Public bookshelves have been sprouting up in German cities, where passersby are encouraged to borrow a book or leave a book based on the honor system. What’s best about this idea is that it really works! The bookshelves are always full, and volunteers keep them clean and tidy. University of Michigan college students intend to design and build four bookshelves to place outside, near each of the closed libraries, which the children will paint and embellish.
Outdoor bookshelf in Frankfurt, Germany
 The Garvey students have been working hard, writing, illustrating, and binding their own books, which will be placed on the shelves among other, donated books. Over the course of about 6 weeks, the 4th graders have developed their characters, setting, and plot with awesome results. Click here to visit our Flickr page and see more photos of the kids and their creations. Both the college students and Garvey 4th graders are very excited to work on this project together. Stay tuned to our blog to follow our progress and, of course, all the fun we have!