OLA Hotline

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OLA Hotline

Volume 13 No. 3 - December 1, 2006

Message from OLA President, Aletha Bonebrake

In my recent travels, one in cyberspace and the other on the long road to Portland, I discovered two partnership opportunities that will enrich the resources of any library, just for the asking.

If you are not already aware of it, there is an important video called "Just Yell Fire," which was created as a project by two female students at St. Mary's Academy in Portland. The students, both skilled in martial arts, teach young women how to escape predatory attacks on their persons. It grew from a modest class project to a professional production, which premiered to the public on October 3 at Cinetopia in Vancouver, WA. It is now seeking distribution to every teenage girl who requests it, from anywhere in the world. The October 16 issue of iN Touch Weekly highlighted the film and the teens' accomplishment for their 1,100,000 readers, inviting readers to either download or request a DVD of the film, free of charge. The bandwidth to accommodate the expected demand was donated by Portland-based IntegraTelecom. The project even attracted one of the stars of the popular sci-fi tv show, Lost, for a cameo appearance, which I understand would mean a lot to the "IT generation." I contacted the mother of one of the girls who is acting as the distribution manager, and she said she would be thrilled if every public, school and academic library were to request a copy for its collection. I encourage you to visit the website to see what a tremendous impact this Oregon-grown film can have on the safety of young women. I hope every library in Oregon will acquire a copy.

While in Portland, I visited with Carol Hickman at the Oregon Council for the Humanities, and she urged me to get out the word to all Oregon libraries about a new grant program this fall, funded at $40,000, which will provide grants for Reading and Discussion Groups in amounts from $1,000 to $5,000 each. While we are all familiar with the scholar-based Chautauqua programs, this new grant program focuses on community reading programs including, but not limited to, "One Book" or "Everybody Reads" events. The discussion groups may be on any topic whatsoever that is of local or social interest, such as aging, jobs, farming interests, local art, oral history and so on. The important thing is that broad community participation comes from a variety of sources. A community organization can come to the Library asking for help with resources, a topic or a book, or the Library can mention the program to a few organizations and see where their interests may lie. The sponsoring organization need not be a library, but a library must be one of the partners. It might be fun to announce this in your local press, and see what happens. For more information please call or e-mail Carol E. Hickman at (503) 241-0543, or download more information.

If anyone out there comes across a good partnership idea or opportunity, please think about writing it up for the Hotline. If you prefer, just forward a name or url to me and I'll check it out. This would make it kind of a mega-partner experience... And that's good, too!