Controversy surrounding Dr. Seuss is not new. In recent years, more scrutiny has been placed on the depictions of Seuss characters in regards to ethnicity and race. The decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to end publishing of six titles reignited discussions.
Posts Tagged ‘inclusion’
This winter, Brooklyn Public Library partnered with Bard College to invite students who have faced multiple barriers to higher education to enroll in free, credit-bearing classes taught by Bard faculty at our Central Library. Recently, some of us got a chance to meet the new cohort of seventeen students over lunch. It was the students’ second day of classes. The students were excited or nervous (or both) and were talkative and appreciative of the library and how welcoming it was. They all seemed to share a readiness to jump into reading, discussing, and learning about new ideas, and developing and expanding upon their own. This is a group, like other groups of college students, where lifelong friendships are bound to form.
Building economic opportunities, equity, and inclusion for all also are core values for librarians. Public libraries are particularly well situated to advance equitable economic development as they are a trusted and familiar resource for information and learning of all kinds. Too often, though, local, state and national decisionmakers don’t think of libraries as part of their community assets for supporting entrepreneurs and economic growth. The American Library Association (ALA) is working to change that.
“Of the people, for the people, by the people,” Abraham Lincoln’s reference to representative government is still relevant today. In the library world we hear the phrase ‘civic engagement’ bandied about, but what exactly does civic engagement mean at the most local level—our towns and cities? And why is now such a critical time to become that civic place?