At the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM’s) 2017 Meeting & MuseumExpo this Monday in St. Louis, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 29th Annual Excellence in Exhibition Competition for the installation Girls Writing the World: A Library, Reimagined.
The installation lives in the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, owned and operated by GSUSA.
The award recognizes the installation as “Creating a Big Change in a Small Package—an excellent transformation of a historic library space using experiential strategies and intentionally utilizing evaluation.”
“Girl Scouts is honored to receive this important recognition from the American Alliance of Museums for the birthplace’s library exhibition,” says Cindi Malinick, cultural resources executive at GSUSA. “It reaffirms the forward-thinking vision we hold for GSUSA’s rich cultural assets, so that they can best serve girls, women, and all visitors—building on the power of place to create new experiences—and inspire each person in their own way to act to make the world a better place. We’d like to thank the American Alliance of Museums, and our peers in the museum world, for valuing our work with this award.”
The reimagined library incorporates historic furnishings and objects from the GSUSA collection, along with contemporary elements and technology.
"As historic sites across the United States struggle to reach new audiences and find relevance within their communities, this library exhibit uniquely focuses on books by, for, and about girls and women across time and cultures," a spokesperson says.
" As such, it illuminates the long arc of female literary tradition and inspires girls and people of all ages to find their own voices. Featuring interactive elements and a revolving book collection, Girls Writing the World is grounded in a key principle of Girl Scouting that was crucial to Girl Scouts’ founder, Juliette Gordon Low—that reading, writing, and communicating are foundational parts of becoming a girl of courage, confidence, and character."
A variety of interpretive strategies, including interactive activities, audio, and video, convey the exhibition’s primary theme: the importance of the written and spoken word for girls.
Complementing the book collection, the room also features a “PoeTree,” which highlights lines of poetry written by women from across time and space. “A Table of Their Own,” which was once a large, multipaned window, is now a table with glass panes featuring Scrabble tiles (in English and Spanish), braille, and iPads that incorporate girls and women of all ages as they audibly share their stories, poetry, speeches, and song.