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May 10, 2004

the September Project

The September Project is a great idea for promoting public deliberation. Libraries across the country will hold public discussions on the third anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. The library systems that have already signed up are shown on this map. Here's an overall description of the project, written by its organizers:
On September 11, 2004, citizens across the U.S. will come together at their local libraries to discuss ideas that matter to all of us. Through talks, debates, roundtables, and performances, citizens will share ideas about democracy, citizenship, and patriotism. What better way to spend September 11th, recently designated "Patriot Day," than by participating collectively, thinking creatively, and becoming a part of the well-informed voice of the American citizenry?

Public libraries provide all citizens open and free access to information. Almost all communities in the US have at least one library. There are over 16,000 public libraries in the US, and that's not including university libraries, K-12 libraries, and church libraries. In other words, libraries constitute an impressive national infrastructure. Moreover, 96% of public libraries have computer technology that can serve to connect events across the nation, thereby constituting a national and distributed media infrastructure. In this way, the September Project will foster a national conversation with, for, and by the people.

The September Project has three goals:

1) To coordinate with all libraries -- big and small, urban and rural -- to host free and public events on September 11;

2) To work with all forms of media -- mainstream and alternative; corporate and independent; print, radio, film, and digital -- to foster and sustain public discourse about issues that matter;

3) To foster an annual tradition for citizens around the world to recognize and give meaning to September 11th.

The aim of The September Project is to create a day of engagement, a day of community, a day of democracy.

Posted by peterlevine at 9:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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