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Santa Clara City Library

Why I Need My Library Video Contest Winners

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Why I Need My Library 
High School Students Win $1000.00 for the Santa Clara City Library!

Alvin Ho, Brian Li and Alistair Twombly placed third in the 16-18 year old category of the American Library Association’s “Why I Need My Library” video contest. This national contest encouraged teens ages 13 to 18 to create original videos on why they think libraries are needed now more than ever. Teens submitted one- to three minute videos on YouTube. The videos could be live-action, animation, machinima or use a combination of techniques, and teens worked in groups of up to six.

Their artistically shot video conveys the library as a haven and escape for teens from everyday stress and pressures.

Alvin describes his thoughts about how the idea for the video came about: 

    When planning this video, my initial plan was to play up the "learning" aspect of the library, as a source of books, magazines, and internet. However, as I sat in the designated teen section, it occurred to me that yes, our library serves that purpose -- but so does every other library in the United States. What sets Santa Clara's library apart is its open environment, from the public displays of art to the sprawling park behind it. In the Teen Section, students sprawled on couches, huddled over computers relax after a long day of work, and its proximity to several high schools make it a hub of activity after school. Then it dawned on me that what truly makes this library special to us is the freedom it affords.

    In this video, the main figure escapes the confines of his house, with stacks of homework, social networking, and goes to the library. The falling comets symbolize the pressure and the stress which high schoolers so often fall prey to today. Yet when he gets to the library, it seems as if by magic, all the worlds troubles just fade away, and he is free to read a book, hang with friends....

Congratulations to the winners! The Santa Clara City Library appreciates the prize money and will use it to continue to make the library a welcoming environment for teens and all its patrons.

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