What are public libraries meant to do for their communities? How does the changing nature of our community also change our mission? And when crisis strikes, disrupting the assumptions, routines, and procedures of “business as usual,” what is the impact on the social role of our institution?
News & Opinion › Page 2
As the PLA EDISJ symposium “Social Justice and Public Libraries: Equity Starts with Us” enters its second year, we focus on the program and its presenters, offering a chance to discover what they are learning as they help move the field toward resistance and solidarity. In December 2019, we engaged with nine of the symposium’s presenters, who were eager to share their insights and experiences.
As PLA’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (EDISJ) begins its fourth year, Public Libraries is please to debut a new column on EDISJ topics.
One of the most significant shifts that we’ve seen in the development of public library roles is the creation of positions with a targeted focus on supporting and moving forward equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice (EDISJ). The development of EDISJ-specific positions provides powerful signaling that centering this work is a priority—a critical and necessary step towards truly embodying the idea that everyone is welcome at the library.
I’m going to propose what some may see as a radical departure from current library culture, while others may scoff at it as old-fashioned: The most important part of your library is your readers, both on your staff and in your patron base. The symbiotic relationship between the building that provides storage for a host of knowledge and entertainment and the librarians in charge of that building has been lost.
While library buildings are closed, staff work to extend broadband and Wi-Fi access.
Months into the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that has cost thousands of lives and brought the world to a halt, public libraries are doing what we do best: looking toward the future we hope to build together.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), individual trauma results from an event, a series of events, or a set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.
Does your library offer makerspace programming? Do the offerings extend to adults? If no, why not? Libraries are better positioned than commercial or nonprofit spaces to give all adults access to technology like 3D printing and advanced design software. Your makerspace will serve the population that has the most time and desire to be there: mobile workers, the unemployed, and people experiencing homelessness, for example.
In the past four years, HPL has hosted two naturalization ceremonies and found them to be a natural outgrowth of our service and a stellar opportunity to partner positively with the federal government.
The benefits of regular mindfulness practice are relevant personally and professionally as we continue to live in the upheaval wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are enduring a collective trauma. What does this mean for us physically, physiologically, and mentally?
We’re learning how to connect with patrons on the fly. Here are a few ways my library is keeping our patrons informed and entertained on social media.
Food insecurity, a concern faced by many communities, has intensified in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As libraries shutter their doors and send staff to work from home during this crisis, many are scrambling to still offer content, virtually, to their communities. These tips will help you find high-quality and engaging content to share, as we all shelter this storm.
Public libraries hustle to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.