wise elephant, making it happen

Let’s Make Some Noise For Libraries: Ticket Giveaway to Pecha Kucha 9

By Sara McGuyer • May 17th, 2010 • Category: Loose Ends


Due to budget shortfalls, Indianapolis residents are facing the possibility of 6 public libraries being shuttered. Public meetings on the topic have drawn large crowds as residents speak up to save the libraries. Read more about the possible closures here and here.

One upcoming local event, Pecha Kucha 9, plans to delve into the topic with discussion of what our libraries and books mean to our society. If you aren’t familiar with Pecha Kucha, which means “chit-chat” in Japanese, is a grassroots movement started by architects and designers to remedy long-winded lectures and frivolous presentations.

They describe it best on their site: In one corner, the presenters at Pecha Kucha have only six minutes and forty seconds to convey their idea, with twenty slides at twenty seconds each, whether they like it or not. In the other corner, a well-stocked bar. And in the middle: you. The two corners will compete for your attention; get a drink and you’ve missed what could be the most influential idea of your career. Pay attention and you’ll miss your third or fourth drink. Conversation among the audience, especially during timid presentations, is encouraged. Business presentation, meet rock show. Bullet points, meet fight club.

Sound like fun? Our own Jason Moriber will be among the speakers commenting on the situation with our libraries at Pecha Kucha Indy, and we’d like to spark some conversation leading up to the event. To sweeten the deal, we’re giving away tickets to people for contributing their thoughts. Tell us what you think about the libraries being closed, what impact it could have, what the libraries and access to books means to you or share your ideas for solutions.

Here’s how:
Leave your commentary in full here on the blog by posting below. – OR -
Write your own blog post, make a video or visual and comment with the link to it here in the comments and/or tweet it with the hashtag #pktix.

We’re looking for commentary, written or visual, that makes us think (please, no comments that just say you want the tickets). It can be as long or short as you need to make your point. We’ve got 5 tickets to give away which will be awarded by a random drawing of all the comments submitted. The commenting period is open until Wednesday, May 19th at noon eastern. We’ll announce the winners and repost their contribution on the Wise Elephant blog on Thursday, May 20 by 10 a.m. eastern.

*Oh, and feel free to comment if you’re out of the area or wouldn’t be able to make it to event, but please let us know if you wouldn’t be able to attend.

About Pecha Kucha 9
Friday, May 21, 2010 @ 8pm
Hosted by Big Car (

THEME: Between the Covers, from libraries to reading and what happens in between

Seating is limited – please buy tickets early by clicking here. Tickets are $20, or $16 per ticket for groups of four. Cash only accepted at the door. All proceeds for Volume Nine of Pecha Kucha Indy will go towards a fund to ensure that every library in Indianapolis stays open.

Open beer bar. Homemade pretzels from Indianapolis’ best pretzel bakery: Taste of Philly.

Sara McGuyer is an account strategist with Wise Elephant and marketing director/board member for the Indianapolis International Film Festival. Find her on twitter http://twitter.com/sara_mc
Email this author | All posts by Sara McGuyer

8 Responses »

  1. That was a well written article Miss Sara! I loved your very powerful one sentence quips almost.

    Here is my thoughts about the library closings. I think it is a sad thing that both the more fortunate, as well as our city, cannot find the means to keep the libraries open. I constantly am disappointed with the overall education system, supporting educational government, and knowledge sharing of the United States. There has been significant concern that science and math achievement was not keeping pace with the nation’s economic competitors had been building even before the Times survey (2007), in which the highest-performing nations were Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. American students lagged far behind those nations, but earned scores that were comparable to peers in European nations like Slovakia and Estonia, and were well above countries like Egypt, Chile and Saudi Arabia.

    Comparable to Slovakia.

    And as recent as stories published by the Washington Post (2008) the United States is no longer the world leader in secondary education, according to the rankings of an international organization. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development places the United States 18th among the 36 nations examined, USA Today reported.


    Now granted the libraries are not the failing source of the United States educational system, however it’s a disturbing fact. The United States does not value education, within even the same atmosphere as our neighbors across the pond. Our Asian counterparts in China, Japan, etc – are running circles around the United States. The students there graduate from high school, with an education equivalent to an undergraduate degree here in the United States. Recently an underlying message from some Harvard professors and academia professionals associated with the TED talks, is that the United States could soon lose it’s place as the most valued destination for young brilliant minds.

    I give you a 2009 report by the IES National Center for Educational Statistics (US Department of Education) http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009039.pdf.

    Comparatively speaking, our libraries is just the tipping of the iceberg. Those in power, and those with the resources available, NEED to be pushing for better education. And that can start at the library. Without a central hub, that has been glorified to be a “cool kids” hangout, our younger generations stand to no longer be the #1 country in the nation. From reading programs, to study tables and computer lessons to boot. Our youth is a very fragile lump of clay. How we choose to mold that clay is imperative to what the openness of the internet is going to do to future generations. Do they utilize it as a knowledge tank of information and data, or as a time-suck against beautiful days outside.

    You ask me about the libraries, and I give you a doomsday scenario. However I think that our inability to find funds to keep libraries open, BUT ALSO the desire to even utilize the libraries, speak volumes for our government and our people (older generations leading the way). And unfortunately, the volumes of which it speaks, is not positive.

  2. Ryan, Thank you for your input and links to some other food for thought. I love that you call youth a fragile lump of clay and point to how we can mold them through our actions, policies and the opportunities for growth that we present. Well said, sir.

  3. My first job as a teenager was working at the local library. My love for books & libraries has continued long past my days working there. And, yes, I still have my name tag from the library. Back then when you went to the library there were families, teenagers, elderly, etc. There wasn’t always silence because of children reading “quietly” in the kids’ area, teenagers working on homework together, etc. Now when I go to the library there’s hardly anyone there. It’s quiet because kids use the internet instead of the library to do research…and are encouraged by their teachers to utilize the internet. It’s quiet because parents park their children in front of a tv, computer, or video game instead of teaching them the value of books. It’s quiet because the community doesn’t embrace all that the library has to offer. A library is a place for books, but it is so much more than that. In a day and age when people are pinching pennies one would think libraries would be more popular. You can check out books, magazines, videos/DVDs, CDs, etc. for FREE! Libraries offer FREE movies for families. Libraries offer FREE story time for toddlers & young children. Libraries offer FREE computer & internet access. Programs & services too numerous to list are offered at libraries. And libraries have human beings you can speak to that will help you when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Saving the libraries is not just about books.

  4. Books, like friends, should be few and well chosen. -Samuel Paterson …

    Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. ….

    The man who does not have access to books has no advantage over the man who cannot read

    Will we define our city, county and community by denying access to information to our most at risk children?

  5. Public libraries are a way to ensure that those who can’t afford the media for education still have access too it.

    That and those who can’t afford to rent movies can still have date nights.

  6. Hello all, thanks for stopping by and commenting about the libraries. I’ll reach out to you individually with information about your ticket. I look forward to some interesting presentations and discussions at the event!

  7. Public libraries are repositories of our culture and heritage. They are a symbol of a learned and advancing society and people who value education by providing opportunties for the common man (or woman) to expain their minds — add to the brain trust for a common good. To close libraries shows that leaders, political and corporate, are less interested in the collective welfare of the common man (or woman), that they are less interested in perserving culture and heitage, and more concerned with saving a buck.

    There are plenty of other pork barrel programs when the government can trim the fat and perserve our public libraries. Without public libraries many people lose the opportunities to advance themselves, to pursue life and liberty. To close a library is an assault on the very American ideals we love. It is an assult on our freedom.

  8. The proposal of closing libraries sends the message that education is held in very low regard in the Indianapolis community. Those without access to the resources provided by a library are left with no alternative and are put at a disadvantage to grow intellectually. In an economic time where the importance of education is constantly being stressed, it would make more sense to promote education in order to improve the city’s overall being.

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