Sunday, September 03, 2006

Singapore Public Libraries, Youth.SG & The September Project, 2006

The September Project (TSP) grows from strength to strength each year. More important, there are more participants from outside the US. Truly, it's about "Community, not Geography". Sarah, on what TSP is about (as of 2006):
TSP is many things but the most simple definition we like to use is this: The September Project encourages free and public events in all libraries in all countries on or around September 11.

From my perspective, TSP has remained true to its original intent of facilitating civic events with libraries as the central focus. What might has changed is the increased global perspective/ lesser US-centric view, for TSP overall.

David and Sarah ought to start documenting its evolution (if they have not done so already). The global map that John Klockner put together is a very nice record of how the project has grown in terms of international partners. Check out the maps for 2004, 2005 and 2006 (the 2006 map is still being updated).

This year, Youth.sg has very kindly agreed to be our official blog for Singapore's event (their blog target at teens, so they would be a logical choice for a blog-partner):
Here in Singapore, the NLB wants you think write about literacy or peace or how literacy can bring about peace. If you’re not good with words, use any medium you are comfortable with to spread the message. Selected entries will be shared digitally with an international audience. The Top 3 entries will stand to win attractive NLB limited edition collectibles!

For brevity, the concept and planning has not been articulated in the youth.sg blog post or NLB poster, so I thought I'd share some details here (I'm also posting this for my own reference):

After some initial brainstorming in July, we (the Adult & Young Peoples' Services team) decided on the working theme of "My Global Neighbourhood". The general idea was to try and combine TSP and International Literacy Day (both events were in Sept). So finally we decided our event had two main aims: To (1) engage and (2) increase awareness among teens in global issues, through the expression of art, music, writing (any mediums they are comfortable with).

By teens, we meant the 13 to 21 year olds.

Specifically, on the Singapore side, the event would be implemented as follows:
1) We want teens to express themselves through pictures (artwork), music, soundbites, written notes (no minimum or maximum entries).

2) The points for discussion/ expression are a series of questions, just to get them thinking. E.g. "What does Sept 11 mean to you?", "What does being poor mean to you?", "What does literacy mean to you?" Teens could also suggest points of discussion (answer a question with a question).

3) They can express themselves by any of the folowing means:
- Post in their blogs (if they have one), upload to youtube etc., and send us the url link
- graphics in jpeg formats (not exceeding 1MB), 3G mobile phone clips (not exceeding 1MB), mp3 etc. Basically not exceeding 1MB for any digital submission.
- write on postcards, paper, scrapes etc. Anything that can be digitally scanned or taken with digital camera.
- submission to include Name (or initials), age, gender, library.

4) Submissions to be sent to the library via email, which the library would pass on to Youth.SG for uploading.

5) Singapore will invite "judges" to identify what they think are the "3 most expressive" submissions (we will invite Youth.SG for a rep as well). But we stress that this is no contest or competition. There's no hard or fast rules.

On my end, I've emailed to some overseas librarians contacts. I hope they'd be able to participate and submit some entries from their teen members.

Incidentally, I discovered Alex Halavais' (whom I know via Kevin) "September Project" category. Here's a post on "Public Spaces + The September Project" by Sarah in Alex's blog. I'm sure there's some 6-degrees connection here, LOL!

Oh, I thought it'll be interesting (for me) to dig up all TSP-related posts in my blog (inevitably, as the number of post grows, organisation and retrieval of posts is an issue). I'd even forgotten about some posts:

I'm glad I blogged those posts. It's a good way to reflect on what has been done, and the possibilities ahead.


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