Library Live

Making Creativity Count: New Year Wishes for Big Thought Kids

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

There’s no stopping the New Year train now. The holidays are rapidly becoming a rear view mirror memory and January 2017 is already cruising along. We have about 360 days to make a mark, to make our imagination and creativity count.

So with that in mind, we at Big Thought are of course thinking of the kids that we serve. We have those young lives foremost in our hearts. Our mission, our programs, our efforts are all about enriching their abilities to learn. We are ramping up our six programs – Creative Solutions, Dallas City of Learning, DaVerse Lounge, Learning Partners, Library Live! and Thriving Minds – for another year of greatness.

Some of our Big Thought staffers got to pondering those opportunities for so many kids in Dallas. They filled in the rest of this sentence:

My New Year wish for our kids is…

…that they find the spark that ignites their passion and the world unfurls its red carpet on their path to pursuing that passion.
Leila Wright, Senior Manager, Programs

…that they regularly experience joy.
Anne Leary, Major Gifts Officer

…to lead extraordinary journeys in life with harmony, hope and love.
Mary Hernandez, Community Engagement Specialist

…that their imagination be sparked so they experience the joys of life-long learning.
LeAnn Binford, Director of Big Thought Institute

…that they will find inspiration and a spark that ignites a passion.
Brandon McKnight, Graphic Designer

…that they never suffer, and live a happy life full of cool adventures, laughter, love and childish play for their rest of their beautiful lives.
Jose Sosa, Communications Manager

…that they feel successful in at least one way, each and every day.
Kristina Dove, Program Manager, Partner Relations

Photo credit: Brandon McKnight/Big Thought

Big ThoughtMaking Creativity Count: New Year Wishes for Big Thought Kids

Dallas Public Library Finalist for National Medal

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

Three cheers for the Dallas Public Library!

All of us at Big Thought are so happy that the Dallas Public Library has been chosen as a 2016 finalist for a National Medal for Museum and Library Service by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

This is a big deal, folks. This award is the nation’s highest honor for extraordinary public service, recognizing institutions that are valuable community anchors.

Here’s your cue: We are asking for members of the community – that would be you – to share your own stories about the Dallas Public Library. Simply put, how has the library made a difference in your life? Think back to the days of exploring people and places just by digging into a book at the library. Or it might be just turning to the library for knowledgeable fact finding. The stories are endless.

The stories are bound to be personal and vivid. Between now and the end of April, tell your story about the library at the IMLS Facebook page. Be sure to “Like” the IMLS page first so you can post to it. Now get to storytelling!

We thank the Dallas Public Library for many fruitful years of collaborating with Big Thought.

Big ThoughtDallas Public Library Finalist for National Medal

History Comes to Life with Library Live!

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

History comes to life inside the library.

Big Thought’s Library Live! program takes its cue from that beloved city resource – the public library system. Each month we host free, interactive programs at Dallas Public Library branches for participants of all ages. Cultural traditions flourish via storytelling as well as visual and performing arts. Activities weave in seasonal themes that reinforce the pride and understanding accompanying any celebration of diverse cultural backgrounds.

Master storytellers and performers are the catalyst for books, stories, and cultural signposts. It’s a time for families to come together in the spirit of literacy, a way for mom and dad and other caregivers to encourage the life-changing grandeur of words and pages that expand the mind.

“Library Live! is designed to promote literacy in partnership with Dallas Public Library branches,” says Pholesha Johnson, Big Thought Communications Manager. “Yet the program offers so much more. It allows books to come alive, which is ultimately allowing our children the chance to be fully exposed to anything and everything.”

Library Live! launched in 1996 with the aim of increasing access among families to literacy-based programming. Twenty years later, Library Live! continues to be cozily embraced by the community. As of 2014-2015, Library Live! served 10,120 participants and offered 278 program hours at 27 Dallas Public Library sites.

For many children, the library and particularly the books it houses become friends. The characters, real or imaginary, inside those pages provide refuge from the toils of everyday life. Children explore far away lands, walk and talk with famous people, jump into a fictional story that feels refreshingly real.

“Growing up, from my bedroom window, I could see one of the many Dallas Public Library branches and would trek daily across what seemed to be a massive field to new experiences found at the Dallas Public Library,” Johnson remembers. “The library became my summer camp, my after school hangout, and my research center. It opened me up to new worlds, people and experiences.”

It still does exactly that. In March, Library Live! showcases Women’s History Month with programs highlighting First Lady Michelle Obama, human rights singer Miriam Makeba, influential Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, and many other portraits of historically famous women. You’ll also find a variety of events that will feature kids creating sock puppets, learning new dance moves, and designing a customized country flag. For a list of Women’s History Month events, visit the Library Live! page.

February was Black History Month, so Library Live! basked in the fascination of George Moses Horton, a former slave and the first African American to be published in the South; Bass Reeves, an escaped slave who became a feared lawman; and Wilma Rudolph, a record-holding African American athlete who was initially told she would never walk again after struggling with infantile paralysis.

Big Thought’s Johnson, who develops strategic marketing initiatives for Library Live!, is a tireless cheerleader for the neighborhood library. She experienced its magic firsthand, and makes sure to enrich her own children’s lives with the power of books.

“The library is an endless engine for dreaming, for creating and for experiencing,” she says. “My children have now found their own love of reading and I’m amazed at the variety of books and subjects for kids of all ages, genders and interests. The expanse of literacy and exposure to almost anything is fantastical, especially in this day and age of technological takeovers.”

Big Thought thanks the Herbert H. and Barbara C. Dow Foundation, The Craig & Kathryn Hall Foundation, and Enterprise Holdings for the generous support of Library Live!


Big ThoughtHistory Comes to Life with Library Live!