As a Hip-Hop music fan since I was young it was very exciting to be involved in a project that combined this popular music genre with reading, libraries and families for a true recipe for success! It all started with Adult Services Librarian Katie Rothley who used her talents to turn the popular rap anthem “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled into “All I Do Is Read”. From there it was decided that young voices were needed to bring the song to life. Here at the Southfield Public Library (https://southfieldlibrary.org/) we have a large homeschooling community that meets here regularly and it just so happened that several of the students are gifted vocalists and rappers. After speaking to Celeste Johnson, one of the leaders of the homeschool group, we had a very enthusiastic response and like that, our talent was onboard.
The students ranging from eight to twelve years old dove into the project with gusto, and along with their adults, they looked over the lyrics and gave input on some small changes to give the song more overall appeal. The next step was recording the song. Enter the “Field Zone”, a teen center located just across the parking lot from the library. Run by the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Field Zone offers a variety of activities for teens including a working recording studio. Director Linda Nabers, was thrilled to participate in the project. She allowed us time in the studio and was able to recruit Kenny Taylor, a very savvy sound technician, to handle the music recording. To find out more about the Field Zone visit here: https://boysandgirlsclubs.us/southfield/ .
After recording the song over the summer, we were ecstatic to find out that our local cable station, Cable 15, wanted to be involved as well, to help make a music video for the performance. October 25 was the big day: besides the original talent other homeschool families were recruited to be featured as extras throughout the video. There was a total of twenty five young people involved, ranging in age from eleven months to sixteen years old. Director Megg Jacobs and Assistant Director Mchael Talley, lead a crew of three other highly trained television production staff from Cable 15. After three hours of shooting all the over the youth floor of the library and following a carefully planned out script, true magic was made!
This was truly a collaborative effort bringing together the entire Southfield community and building wonderful partnerships with our homeschool community, the Boys and Girls Club, our local cable station and the library. If you are curious to see the final product please keep your eye on the Southfield Public Library web page for a link to the video as it is still being edited by Cable 15, we hope to have the final product quite soon. I hope this will inspire other libraries to make some video magic of their own!
Shari Fesko is the Youth Services Librarian at the Southfield Public Library in Michigan and currently serves on the ALSC Building Partnerships Committee.