As a librarian, who coordinates research visits to the Parkway Central Library for schools in Philadelphia and beyond, I often tell students that my colleagues constitute a corps of what one might call "intellectual detectives". Each collection and subject department is akin to a separate investigative bureau specializing in certain genres of mysteries that face our species. How else to describe our mysterious profession to citizens of a commonwealth that guarantees libraries in prisons but not for its schools?
We librarian detectives relentlessly hunt for answers to questions both in response to school projects and also in response to the passions and curiosities of anyone who's ready to learn. The talented actors, writers, and theater professionals of New Paradise Laboratories took that core lesson and put it to stage this spring. In this instance, the stage was nearly the entirety of Parkway Central Library. This theater experience was unquestionably a work of art. However, as an educator, I'd like to add that I think it also succeeded as a lesson.
To the teachers and students of Philadelphia and its countryside who were unable to make the show and experience the lesson first hand, I'd like to invite you to help your students explore a new way to learn it. We now have a mobile version of the experience that unlocks some of the core joys of discovery in a well-structured library such as our own. Come try it!
Our We the Detectives initiative continues with Clever Criminals and Daring Detectives at the Rosenbach and Becoming the Detective: The Making of a Genre in Parkway Central Library's Rare Book Department. Check out the exhibitions now through September 1!
And experience the GUMSHOE immersive adventure by New Paradise Laboratories using your mobile phone any time, now through September 1.