Des Moines, IA -- Public Library -- August 7, 2007

The striking new Des Moines library--walls of glass and copper. It glows orange at night.

I had the privilege of speaking with the Marketing Manager, Jan, and the Teen Specialist, Brenda. The library received a grant from the Greater Des Moines Community foundation, for $100K to implement a teen program, which has allowed Brenda, (right) to spend fifteen hours off the desk dreaming up and doing programs for teens and tweens. They've been doing all sorts of great events such as a cooking workshop where they made homemade soda, animée screenings, a career workshop, an acting workshop, where the kids learned how to understand Shakespeare, even if you don’t understand the language. The brought in a break dancing group called the floor spiders …they even have their own myspace page.

They told me that Chris Crutcher, the author the Wyoming teacher had raved about (see Wyoming posting), is coming to their library. They recommend the audio book of Chris Crtucher's autobiography--both hilarious and heartwarming, though more in the adult realm. It’s called King of the Mild Frontier.

For the adults, there's the AVID reader program. The program brings in nine great writers throughout the year, including, recently, one of my favorites--Mary Doria Russell. They gave me an avid reader tshirt with her (among others) name on it! While Maria Doria Russell's book, The Sparrow, fits the realm of sort of literary science fiction, she is now writing a Western. At her talk at the library Jan said that she had described herself as a “genre slut”, and that she’d jump in the car with any kind of literature.

Brenda (right) is reading the newest book by Stephanie Meyer, Eclipse, which she’s had a hard time putting down. Stephanie Meyer is also the author of Twighlight, which the girls at the San Diego library really liked as well as the group of four adults on the family reunion. Jan (left) recommends Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow, and Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson.

No comments: