Did you see the “Ghosts in the Library” presentation at the museum today? If so, what did you think about it? More importantly, why do you think what you think?
I liked the “Ghosts in the Library”. I think the drama and excitement appeals to kids and adults. It shows a different way for people to look at history and another reason to look to the Abraham Lincoln Presdential Library and Museum. It reaches for the emotions and is much better than just someone lecturing you about how you should like history and where you should go to see it.
I thoroughly enjoyed “Ghosts in the Library,” as I did all of the museum. It brought history to life, which is an element that I think is missing in most history classes today. It not only brought history alive, but did so with an awesomness that I think excites kids and would leave them thinking and talking about how the show made history “cool.”
I loved “Ghosts in the Library,” because it made you think about the significane of Primary Sources and what an important part they play in the correct telling of history. I kept thinking, my first graders would love this as well as learn something about how vital history is!
Ghosts in the Library was fantastic, as was the rest of the museum! It was interactive and fun without seeming childish and contrived. (e.g. “Push this button and hear somebody talk about the item in front of you.”) The videos were short and informative (I bought the “Civil War in Four Minutes” DVD to show my class) and two larger “theater” shows were like something you’d expect at Disneyland or Universal Studios theme parks. Abe would be proud. 🙂
Technologically GITL was fabulous, but it did not give any history insight. I think it is good to hook children or anti history people into the realm of history and reveals how exciting history truly is. It was okay. I was expecting the benches to move like Disney in the ride Planet Earth.
I thought it was awesome! Not only because it was entertaining, but because the actor (narrator) gave a good teaching tip. We should all be interested in history because we are all (eventually) a part of it. We all live in the present, but in time everything we do will be part of the past. Little things we say or do today may some day be studied or analyzed by others. What Lincoln did as President, is well known, but we all want to know what he did before he became important.
I felt that it was interesting and really seemed to hook the kids. I noticed a few that sat near me were glued to it the entire time. Althought it didn’t give them a ton of historical infomation it did get that “hook” that we need for kids.
The only purpose that exhibit offered was to show people how the idiom “smoke and mirrors” came about! If you had an exit poll, I think viewers might come out knowing less about the importance of historical artifacts than they knew going in. Every time a special effect came through, I forgot what he was talking about. My only reaction is, “What?!!!”
I loved “Ghost in the Library”. The technology used is exactly what kids today are interested in when they play video games, or watch tv. It was capitivating and kept your attention with the abstract movements and occasional sound effects. I’m not sure the exhibit was an intention to teach the kids (and adults) historical facts, but rather to catch their imagination and open a door to wonder and excitement that would perk their interest as they moved into the rest of the museum. I wish I was talented enough to come up with some very catchy hooks like that!
I did not care for “Ghosts in the Library” at all. I think that as a story it was scattered and when anything relevant was presented, the special effects took away from the message. I do not think we always need to buy into the Disneyification of history by always having to be edutained to death to bring history alive. STORYTELLING is the key vehicle, and not gadgets and special effects. In addition artifacts are important, but ideas behind the history is what is important.
Maybe when we use the technology to make things like video games or tv, we tell children that their world is more important than anyone else’s, so then we validate their feeling that nothing else is important.
I heard one of the guides say that either people loved ghosts or hated it. When I asked why the difference, he simply said that people either love the special effects or hate it.
If the goal of the exhibit was to catch the attention of the viewer, then it was successful. If the goal was to educate the viewer, then it failed. Can we do both?
Unless you have a passion for history, most people find it a dry subject. I am a tech geek. I love history. I thought the presentation was well done, informative (for a Cliff Notes version), and attention grabbing. The artifacts added to the presentation…the blood stained gloves and fan…the letters, jewelry, photos all help to pique the interest and curiousity so that the viewer will hopefully go looking for more information. I want to know the technology behind the movies….how were they made? holograms? The screens coming up and down. Stories within stories. While it reminded me of Epcot exhibits with vibrating seats, etc., information is shared in a more exciting manner. I loved the movies!
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