BYU projects hit Library of Congress


The BYU Laycock Center takes on creative projects that range from small individual photos to larger ones such as a game for the Library of Congress.

Readers to the Rescue is the most recent project that went national done by the Lacock Center.
“Readers to the Rescue” was done for the Library of Congress by students and under the direction of Jeff Sheets in the Laycock Center.

“Readers to the Rescue” is a visual game set inside a library with a cast of storybook characters. Readers need to “rescue” them by putting book “heroes” in the blank spaces in a story. That results in 36 short, animated films, and in the end, readers are able to unlock a classic children’s book such as “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” “Pinocchio” and “Rapunzel.”

The project was done by students of the Fine Arts and Communications College under the direction of Jeff Sheets in the BYU Laycock Center for Creativity & Collaboration and was completed in only two months as an attempt to encourage children to read more. In a news release, the Library of Congress stated, “A goal of this initiative is to recognize the modern, media-driven world children are growing up in and that reading online, or in any format, should be at the center of literacy efforts.” Because children are being bombarded with new games and technologies like tablets and smartphones, the Library of Congress wanted to create a game that can be accessed through these sorts of technology but still has reading material in them.

According to the official website, “The Laycock Center hosts and supports a community for creative thinkers.” It performs many projects related to photography, video and other multimedia.

Melissa Manwill, a senior studying illustration and the head illustrator in the “Readers to the Rescue” project, said they try to always work with something that is out of their comfort zones. For example, if someone is good in taking photographs, they go and work in design. That enables them to connect with others.

Some of the students’ projects done within BYU groups were with BYU Women’s Chorus and a video of the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra recorded with GoPro cameras attached to the instruments. Some of their out-of-BYU projects were with Xplorit, a company from California, and Vittana, a microloan organization that gets donations to help people in developing countries, among others.

“The ‘Selfie Police’ has an online project that brought together a few disciplines, and we just finished launch that,” said Duntin Locke, a senior studying advertising. The “Selfie Police” attempts to encourage people to donate $1 for each selfie they take. The money goes to fund children who cannot afford a college education.

The students are currently working on a photography blog called “Dreamco” and on an alternative reality game for the National Science Foundation, a project that will take approximately two years to complete.

“We want to bring good to others,” said Brock Beeson, a senior studying art direction who works at the Laycock Center. “We get a lot of help from our mentor, Jeff Sheets, who is the director of the center, and so we can help people and organizations in their projects.”

The Laycock Center provides funding opportunities for students and faculty in the College of Fine Arts and Communications but welcome projects that stretch beyond BYU campus.

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