[Libs-Or] Information about libraries, writers, and teaching writing

Rich Wandschneider rich.wandschneider at gmail.com
Wed Feb 4 08:04:43 PST 2015

years and years ago, Kim Stafford and Jim Heynen put together a program out
of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis and Clark College to gather
library patrons around a community writing project. The project was modeled
on a book done in Port Townsend years prior--it asked participants to
brainstorm places, people, and events important in the community, and then
it divvied up writing assignments,  Heynen came to the libraries and
mentored the project.

A book, About Wallowa County, came out of our project. It is alas, now out
of print. As I recall, Hood River and Toledo or someplace close to that on
the coast also participated.

It was a terrific model, got people who loved historical research,
genealogy, etc together with wannabe poets and novelists. (The entries, by
the way, were bylined.)  And with actual publishing costs--formatting
programs are almost standard on computers; print runs of 50 and 100 are
economical; even short runs of heavily illustrated books are feasible--so
much more reasonable now, it would be worth looking into resurrecting. Kim
--or someone at NW Writing--might be induced to help. A small grant to OLA
or a group of libraries might generate interest.

Remember, the community reads started out with one book in Seattle--and,
when i was at Fishtrap, we were in the first group of 10 nationwide to
participate in the Big Read. Now hundreds of communities--often through or
in partnership with libraries--are involved. Seems to me like an apple
waiting to be plucked.

good luck to the curious--i’m happy to try to answer questions.


On Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 5:34 PM, Maureen Cole <mcole at ci.oregon-city.or.us>

> Hi all:
> I was contacted today by Margaret Simon, who, as you can see below, is
> interested in learning more about how libraries connect with writers to
> provide instruction in writing. Most of our libraries connect writers to
> library customers in multiple ways; Margaret is specifically interested in
> knowing how we use authors/writers as writing teachers (instructors,
> coaches, workshop leaders, etc.) If your library uses writers to provide
> services to the public, please let her know (Please email her directly).
> She will be talking us up at a conference in April; this is a great
> opportunity for some free publicity and promotion of the relationship
> between libraries and writers.
> Thanks, Margaret, for your interest in Oregon, and thank you Oregon
> Libraries for helping out Margaret and in doing so, helping out Oregon
> Libraries!
> Best, Mo
> On Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 11:28 AM, Margaret Simon <
> margaret.simon at shakerlibrary.org> wrote:
> ​Dear Library Friends,
> I am on a panel at the Authors and Writing Programs Annual Conference
> this April speaking about the role of libraries in a writer's life.
> Specifically, I wondered where I could find information about
> writing programs offered by public libraries. I am trying to demonstrate to
> writers that they could have a place at the library table as a writing
> teacher. To that end I wondered what courses, classes, or programs your
> state public libraries offer their public an/or where they use the services
> of a writer.
> We are all good at sharing our resources among our library groups,
> but  this is an opportunity for libraries to publicize programs by and for
> writers to the writers themselves.
> Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
> Margaret​
> Margaret Simon, PR Coordinator
> Shaker Heights Public Library
> 16500 Van Aken Boulevard
> Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120
> 216-367-3005
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rich.wandschneider at gmail.com
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