Image credit: staticflickr.com
By Alise McKeal
Admittedly, I wanted to write about something else, but it was a mere distraction from what was and is weighing like a ten ton brick on my heart. As such, I felt pulled as if magnetically, towards writing about libraries and the increasingly important role they have, particularly in terms of having unbiased, open-arms for all the diverse individuals and populations they serve. We are the one place that our users and patrons know they are accepted and safe, and can use our openly available resources without judgment, bias, and censorship. Furthermore, through our libraries and library work, we can continue to fight the good, strong fight against hatred and oppression that exist in our society and work towards greater acceptance, equality, and growth (including healing) for all people not just the group(s) we connect to in our own lives. I wish us all the strength, courage, and willingness to continue to serve in our important roles and hold a places for our patrons, customers and users, especially in the aftermath of the election results.
I was incredibly fortuitous last week because without any consideration to Election Day, I scheduled a day of seated chair massages along with coloring activities and a therapy dog visit the Thursday following it. The only thing that could have improved the experience would have been if everything had been scheduled for last Wednesday instead. Ah well, hindsight is perfect, isn’t it? These events shifted the energy in the library and provided support and healing for many during such a challenging time. It was also a great opportunity for students, staff and faculty to connect and share positive stories and just be there for one another energetically. Sometimes it just takes someone holding our space to get us through the moment(s).
Many of us are grieving, hurting, and angry or experiencing a myriad of other emotions, and it is important that we take care of ourselves during these times. A loss has occurred for a large group of us. After we have dealt with our own, very personal self-care, it is imperative that we keep moving forward and participate in progressive action to support those we serve while continuing to effectuate change. What are some ways that you or your library are working towards regrouping, empowering and bringing your community together? Please share here.