Sounds strange to say the library right? In a digital age where libraries may seem a little archaic, here they’re vibrant parts of community. So much so, we have one in all six towns on this tiny island.
Our libraries are a source of activity and learning for all ages here. From renowned authors to stuffed animal sleepovers, to story time to workshops, you can find the most amazing things at our libraries.
The libraries here are quite popular, but such is not the case everywhere. To help get people excited and supporting these pillars of the community, Bill and Melinda Gates sponsored Geek the Library.
Geek the Library invites people from all over the country to show what they’re passionate about, what they “geek.” Whatever it may be, libraries can help you explore that passion.
It’s a clever, fun way to show the value of libraries to so many different people.
On Wednesday, August 6th, the Oak Bluffs Library is unveiling it’s Geek the Library. What does that mean for us?
It’s a series of photos of 117 people from the community. Some summer folks, and a lot of Islanders (washashores) from ages 2 to 84.
All of these people share what they “geek.” From robots to Boston in the 70’s to homegrown fruit, the gremlins to policy reform, to blogging (that’s me), it’s captured in a photo.
Not only can you see the words for people’s likes but so many of the photos capture the feeling of what they “geek.”
Island photographer Eli Dagostino volunteered to do the project for the Oak Bluffs Library.
I don’t know how he does it, but Eli just seems to get the perfect picture of the person. He helps you get into the moment and what you’re thinking about.
Whether it’s serious or playful, he gets the picture that says it.
For me, he asked me to imagine that I just scored an amazing story to blog about, a news breaker, and I was the only one with the scoop. It’s funny how he knew that would evoke a powerful reaction from me.
I think my picture represents how I would feel, sort of the devious and proud. I can’t believe he caught it. He does it for everyone and every photo. It’s quite remarkable.
You feel as though you’re looking into the soul of each photo, you feel connected to what they “geek.” You know more, ask why, and get to know the person better.
It’s an amazing compilation of Island faces and a creative way to share things about people we see everyday.
Did you know the girl you see everyday at Mocha Motts “geeks” pin-up? Or that the man from the post office who is next to your mailbox is obsessed with super heros?
You pause and look at people in a different light when looking at the pictures, and know that the Oak Bluffs Library — and all libraries — help people get more from whatever they may “geek.”
Eli wanted to do this project for the library for a number of reasons. First, what a great way to get to know so many people here on Martha’s Vineyard, and get to know what they love, and learn new things about people in the community.
Second, the challenge of it. How to capture so many different people and their expressions. The technical aspects would be a fun challenge.
Also, the repetition of the project, so much is the same but so much is different.
Each of the 117 people are wearing black with a black background. So, from far away each one looks the same, but get closer, and you can see that every photo is unique.
Every photo tells a different story. Put them all together and the impact is astonishing, a visual treat.
Eli really enjoyed doing this project. It was rewarding to be a part of this project that supports the Martha’s Vineyard community.
The photos might be hung at the Oak Bluffs Library, but there are pictures of people who live all over the Island. The diversity is fantastic.
Library executive director, Sondra Murphy learned about the Geek The Library initiative and found a grant that would help pay for the project to be done here.
I love that Sondra and her team are always doing fun, creative, and dare I say hip things at the library. It’s such a cool place.
For her, the project made sense. It was a way to get to know the library patrons more and learn more about the community. She really enjoyed learning different things about people, and feels closer to so many faces that are familiar to her.
There, you can meet the photographer, a number of the participants and of course check out all the photos. You just might learn a thing or two about your neighbors.
The Geek the Library photos will be on display at the Oak Bluffs Library until the end of August. So if you can’t make the opening reception, there’s plenty of time to stop by and take a look at the amazing collection of Island faces.
Thanks for reading the On Point Blog. You can learn more about the Oak Bluffs Library on Facebook. And speaking of social media, don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.
If you’d like to learn more about photographer Eli Dagostino, check out the On Point blog Eli Dagostino, The Young Man Behind The 365 Project, Capturing The Heart of Martha’s Vineyard.