Friday, April 6, 2007

Get Involved! (around town through technology)

You come to the library regularly. You've read the bulletins and the monthly newsletters, you keep up with the Community Information boards. These are paper things, things that can be folded, stacked, and stuffed into bags or pockets. Things that can be pinned to a corkboard or stuck to the fridge upon returning home. But you also know about the emailed SPAM, the RSS feeds constantly updating your life, the singular second-soundbites on the News programs "keeping you informed." Maybe you tend to tune it all out, this omnipresent technology. Or maybe you tend to pay too much attention to it.

Bradbury warns against its over-saturation, the wall-tvs (LCD flat-screen televisions), the seashells (earbuds of the ipods), eyes lurking in vents (a nightmared panopticon for those who start to realize the implications their surroundings, as Guy Montag does at the beginning of the book).

Libraries are continuing sources of new technology, always trying to maintain the latest opportunities through new information sources. But you can be, too. Take home the paper copy of local calendars, write down dates in your planners, but also use the plastic keys at your fingertips. Even if you don't have a computer at home, you can use one at the FPL to access a world of real, three-dimensional events and information involving real, touchable, interactive people.

Here are a few ways you can use the technology that saturates our lives to get outside of the screen, to recenter yourself in your community:

Access Fayetteville always has local events posted: look for their Calendar, Events, and Meetings page to view a variety of community events.

The University of Arkansas doesn't just have events for students. There are always plays, gallery shows, and speakers coming to the campus that have a plethora of information to offer to the general public.

Also, the Free Weekly always has an "Eight Days a Week" section that has music, art and theater events for the month.

And, seasonally open and always a social event, is the Fayetteville Farmer's Market (print out the schedule, put it on your fridge and remember when you're out of bell peppers you can pop up to the downtown Square and choose your own locally grown produce).

The opportunities for interaction are endless.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Some other websites you might want to take a gander at:

http://www.fayettevilledowntown.org/

http://www.fayettevillearts.org/

This event is part of The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.