Friday, July 12, 2013

Library as Incubator debuts with "No, David"

How Deep is David?

We pondered this, examined this, incubated this, cracked up over this!  Does he have depth? Does he have potential?  Can he do better?  You know do...

Yep!  That's him, David.   

This summer our library has joined the national project, The Library as Incubator, to support the arts, providing opportunities for creativity for our citizens.  And in this case...our young citizens.  

The logo for this project has that funky retro look that most of my library kids would not grasp.  They have never even seen a card catalog in their public library!   This does not in any way diminish their enthusiasm to be a part of something trending across the country.  These kids are smart, talented, creative and very funny.  Before I say more about them - let's take a look at the project.

I copied the following from The Library as Incubator website to help explain things, but you should go take a look for yourself.  Cool stuff.  Click here.

We believe the library is a place to connect and create.

The Library as Incubator Project was created by Erinn Batykefer, Laura Damon-Moore, and Christina Endres, and was inspired by a discussion about creative advocacy for libraries in one of their courses at the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies.
The Project highlights the ways that libraries and artists can work together, and works to strengthen these partnerships. At a time in which both libraries and arts organizations are often having to do more with less, it makes sense for these two parts of our culture to support each other. The Library as Incubator Project calls attention to one of the many reasons libraries are important to our communities and our culture, and provides a dynamic online forum for sharing ideas.
I have been following this project for about a year and a half and it was just time to jump in.  The planets aligned in our Summer Schedule!   Our inspiration is, as they say, "in house" .  Children's books have award winning illustrators and authors. And we have thousands of books.
We debuted the program this week.   The tremendously talented author/illustrator David Shannon created the No, David series of books which seemed to be the perfect starting point for a group of kids who like to read, write and draw.  I selected this character because I thought every child knew this book by now - I thought wrong!  

No biggie - the plan was to intro the project with some history, intro the book, read the book and start thinking, working, playing with ideas.  Everyone understood the meaning of INCUBATE...and they loved that I had not set any rules about their artwork.  FREEDOM!  Truth be told, I had ideas of where I wanted to take the project but I also knew that these kids might take it someplace else and I was more than willing to go with them.  
I provided paper, a tupperware circle (they did not have to use it), markers and crayons.  The students talked ideas for about 15-20 minutes before the drawing began.  They had ideas that made David so awful it was hysterical.  Then they traveled into what it would be like to be his parent...and what they would do as a parent...and some of them were pretty awful parents as well!  Just when I thought we had reached the point of no return of who could "out do" the others in silliness they pulled it back together.  I didn't need to say a word.  

From my perspective - they got wild and crazy misbehavin' silly ...just like David!  They tried David on, you know, they slipped into being David.  I hadn't even thought of doing that!  And then...they took it to - what will happen to David?  What will he be like when he gets older?  What will he do?  Be a waiter?  Be a church usher?  Be a lawyer in NY?  Be organized?  Will he stop picking his nose?  He'll have to wear braces for those triangle teeth!   And now, I was grinning ear to ear.  This is soooo much fun.  

Each David was different.  Everyone went with a word bubble to explain the new David.  Very cool!  

These ears are pretty orange...must make for a keen sense of hearing!  

 We hope to submit our work, if we are lucky we will be featured on the website.  We are moving in the right direction. The artwork from this group of elementary students is on display in the Library.
Our Tweens and Teens debuted The Library as Incubator project using Vincent Van Gogh as inspiration yesterday.  Can't wait to put their work together for a photo shoot.  It's all good!  We have some very happy artist in our libraries.  As for me...I am the luckiest librarian in town!  Yippee!  

If you would like to learn more about David Shannon, the author and illustrator - please click here for a video and so much more.  

P.S. (Piper Script) Thanks for visiting our blog.  We would love to hear what you have to say.  Please leave a comment ~ thanks!  

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