Beaufort County librarian to talk revolution, evolution of libraries at TEDx event

abredeson@islandpacket.comMay 25, 2014 

Melanie Florencio, computer lab instructor with the St. Helena Branch of the Beaufort County Library, was was selected to give a talk on May 30 at the TEDxCreativeCoast event in Savannah.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Delayna Earley Buy Photo

An upcoming series of seminars in Savannah will explore both revolution and evolution -- just not the science-y evolution you're thinking of.

For example, Melanie Florencio, a computer lab instructor at the St. Helena Island library, will talk about libraries' evolution from places of simply absorbing content to places of creating content.

The series, a TEDx program, will feature 14 talks from area experts May 30 at the Jepson Center. It is sold out, but can be viewed via live stream.

TEDx events are local, independently-run talks that are similar to programs run by TED, a nonprofit organization that works to "spread ideas worth sharing" through short talks. TED, an acronym for technology, entertainment and design, began in 1984 as a conference and now covers a wide range of topics, including science, business, and cultural and global issues. The talks are presented in more than 100 languages and made available for free at

The Savannah TEDx event, organized by The Creative Coast, is in its fifth year. TEDx events are designed to give people around the world the opportunity to attend educational events close to home.

Florencio said more than 75 people applied to speak at the Savannah event and only 14 were chosen. Rex Gale, of Hilton Head Island, will also speak. Gale has worked with companies worldwide to better understand what drives human decisions related to health, wealth and performance and to design programs that help people achieve those goals.

Florencio will also discuss about a revolution taking place in the libraries -- the installation of "maker spaces," a new term for places where people can go to create, tinker, hack and make.

"I try to explain how I work right now for a library of the future," she said of her talk. "I want the attendees to see that you can go to a library of the future now."

People don't just come to the library to check out books and DVDs nowadays, she said. They come to learn how to do things, to learn how to create things.

People come to Florencio for help with their tablets. They also come to her to learn different skills on a computer. She teaches people how to take advantage of maker spaces such as the one at the St. Helena Island library. She teaches classes on animation, game design, filmmaking, graphic design, 3D modeling and sound design at the library.

"There's a resurgence of dynamic programming," she said. "It's completely free. They should get out there and attend these programs. Go and create something, and explore what the new library is for the 21st century."

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at


St. Helena Island library offers day of workshops, costumes and fun for area comic and manga fans, March 15, 2004

Columns from Beaufort County librarians

The Creative Coast's information on the TEDx event

Live stream of TEDx event in Savannah

Full list of speakers, more details

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service