The Way We Worked

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The Michigan Humanities Council has selected Cromaine Library in Hartland as one of the six host sites for The Way We Worked, a traveling Smithsonian exhibit. Cromaine is the only location to host the exhibit in southeastern Michigan.

The Way We Worked is a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit that explores the importance of work in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years. The exhibit is adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives and draws from the Archives’ photographic collections to tell the story of work in American culture. Using large-format pictures, objects and interactive components, the exhibit shows how we identify with work, as individuals and as communities

“Cromaine has all the elements of a successful host site: recognition of Hartland’s unique labor tradition, a dedicated host institution and an enthusiastic community,” said Greg Parker, Michigan Humanities Council Program Officer.

Library Director, Ceci Marlow says, “It is exciting to bring an exhibit of this caliber to our community that allows us to highlight our community’s past and present. To be able to offer a Smithsonian exhibit to our schools and our community, free of charge, is an opportunity that should not be missed! We want everyone to be able to enjoy this exhibit and the events that we will host during the exhibition.”

In Michigan, John Beck will serve as exhibition scholar, acting as the lead academic consultant for host communities and the Council. Beck is Associate Professor in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University, and co-directs the “Our Daily Work, Our Daily Lives” program, which explores and presents the culture of workers in the workplace. He has taught courses on labor studies, history, and education. He will discuss the history of working in America at Crossroads Library in Hartland on January 16 at 6:30pm.

Cromaine Library will host the exhibit from December 21 through early February 2013. There will be events hosted throughout the entire exhibition period that relate to the Hartland Area Project, our local work history and work as we know it today.

Between Christmas and New Years week, the youth department will host youth events that are centered on the exhibit.

The Grand Opening will be on Friday, January 4 from 6-8 pm.

The Florence B. Dearing Museum will also be open on Saturdays in January in partnership with Cromaine and the Smithsonian Exhibit.