Come rock at your library

Published 4:54 pm Saturday, May 31, 2008

A few years ago a teen librarian in Michigan was trying to come up with a way to make libraries cool for teenagers.

Libraries were seen by teens as boring and quiet and full of little old ladies. So he tried to make it the opposite — exciting and loud and full of boisterous teens. He contracted with a local Detroit rock ’n‘ roll band, The High Strung, to play a concert in a library. It was a huge success. He expanded it to the whole state and then the whole country. Thus was born the National Rock ’n‘ Roll Library Tour — now on its third tour.

The members of The High Strung are perfect for this job. They’re all college educated, love to read and visit libraries regularly. One of them even worked in a library. They’ve been together since they were 11 years old and practically live together since they tour the country in a van. While traveling, they always visit public libraries. They see libraries as their field offices, since they offer so many services, like the Internet and e-mail, magazines and newspapers, and even public bathrooms that are clean and safe.

Email newsletter signup

Since our Teen Librarian heard about The High Strung, she’s been on a mission to get them to Natchez, and she’s finally succeeded. They will be coming to kick off our Summer Library Program at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 10 at the Natchez City Auditorium. We are so excited to be bringing this national attraction to Natchez — and admission is free!

In addition to playing a full-set of their rousing Beatlesque jams, attendees will learn what it’s like to tour year-round and what sort of enthusiasm it takes to maintain such faith in your art. But in what’s sure to be a highlight, the band will solicit the audience’s help in writing and improvising a song on the spot. The band will also be keeping an up-to-date online video diary of each of the library shows, so we’ll be media stars! To learn more about The High Strung and to hear some of their music, visit their Web site

Although this library tour was originally designed for teens, the program will be fun for children of all ages. Just imagine hundreds of children dancing in the aisles.

Grownups are going to want to come to this performance as well, so we have a special deal. Those over the age of 18 will be admitted if they are accompanied by a child.

This is just the beginning of an exciting Summer Library Program at your Library. We have programs for all ages. The Teen Program is from 3 to 4 p.m. Fridays, June 20 to July 18. Children going into grades one through six have their program on Tuesdays, June 17 to July 15. There is one session from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and another from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Pre-K and kindergarten have their own program from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Fridays, June 13 to July 18. Register your children now at your library.

The Natchez-Adams- Wilkinson Library Service consists of three branches: Armstrong Library in Natchez (the headquarters of the library system), Van Cleave Library in Centreville and Woodville Public Library in Woodville. The Armstrong Library is located at 220 S. Commerce St., in Natchez, and is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. 1 p.m. You can call us at 601.445.8862, e-mail us at or visit us online