Poetry Month

1April hosts one of my favorite events: National Poetry Month. I came to really love poetry when I lived in Las Vegas. I would go to one or two open mics every week, and I wrote daily. It was at this point that poetry transformed for me. Instead of being antiquated, it was fresh. Instead of being an activity to do in isolation, it was part of social gatherings.

In librarianship, we are encouraged to delve into our passions. How perfect! This emphasis lets me bring my excitement about poetry into my patron interactions. For the second year in a row, I serve on the Teen Poetry Committee.  Actually, I chaired it last year. This year, the Teen Programming Committee is steering the event, and I am a member of that committee.

Unlike most of my other posts here, this is actually about an event that will happen in the library. I promise that I will tie it to outreach, though. Again, connecting with the community is essential, and the ways that we do that are the same as they would be if this were an off-site program.

4It helps to know what else is happening in the community. There is a Teen Open Mic Night at The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.  We are cross-promoting. I have sent our information to them to distribute, and I have included their information on our book display. We have both a standing sign and flyers that people can take.

5Also, KKFI 90.1, a local radio station, will highlight poets from our event on their Thursday Night Special program six days before our Teen Poetry Night. Some of our featured poets will perform their writing on air. This is a wonderful way to advertise the library’s upcoming experience, but it also draws community members to listen to the radio.

Twitter is a big deal now, too. If outreach is about meeting people where they are, that means also taking to the cyber-realm. We will have daily writing prompts on https://twitter.com/kclibraryteens. Of course, we would love for teens to post their poetry on our Twitter feed, too.

When I worked in Las Vegas in a library, a patron challenged me about the libraries not being open 24-7. I responded that he could access our website at any time of the day, every day of the year. He was pleased, and I have kept that in mind ever since.

Outreach is for teens. Outreach is for lovers of the visual arts. Outreach is for radio listeners. Outreach is for those entrenched in social media. Outreach is for library-lovers who are also insomniacs.

So, to conclude, a poem in the 5-7-5 syllable form of haiku:

Libraries foster

passions. Grow them. Nurture them–

in-house and away.

cropped-cropped-with-book-and-educator-site-2013.jpgAnna Francesca Garcia

NorthTexas is her Alma Mater, MLIS class of 2008

Nine years plus one-and-a-half more: Her time working in libraries

Among her favorite memories: Hearing her daughter’s “Where the Duckie?” poem in 2010”

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2 responses to “Poetry Month

  1. Anna Francesca Garcia,
    Thank you for writing this post as encouragement. I am new to my outreach coordinator post, and it is always nice to get a refresher about what my job is and what it could entail one day. I am running a few events for National Poetry Month, which I, too, love love love! We are having two contests at our main branch of Chatham County Public Libraries, 1) a Haiku Book Review and 2) Poetry writing in the Stacks.

    My background is in teaching, and because of that, I am in the habit of sharing lesson plans, so I’ve attached the things I have made and assembled for National Poetry Month.

    Hope you are well! Thanks again.

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