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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Caroline's Project Proposal

I, too, am interested in the library's role in public education/programming/outreach, specifically in regards to the environment and conservation. Is it the library's job to teach us about the environment and encourage us to work to conserve it? (Well, yes, but . . .) I want to look at the locations of Wisconsin libraries in relation to the locations of state parks, nature preserves, etc. I will find out if these parks have libraries or information centers and if they do any public programming. (If not, maybe the closest library could take it on, or collaborate with the park.) I also want to look at library programming statistics - number, attendance, budget. I'm not sure how far to take the project, though. Say I determine that Library X does a lot of public programs, gets a lot of people to attend, has money and is near a nature preserve that does not do programming. Should Library X automatically do a program about the preserve? No. How does it know if people will show up? Should it cater the program to tourists, or those who live near the preserve? Census data, for example, won't tell me if the people who live near the preserve or Library X are interested in learning about it. Still trying to think this through and wondering where my cut off point should be.

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