ALA Annual 2016

Literacy, Humanity, and Capacious Hearts at #alaac16

This year’s Opening General Session found an auditorium full of librarians on their feet, giving Michael Eric Dyson a standing ovation – and for good reason. In addition to quoting Tennyson, referencing Foucault, and rapping to Snoop Dogg, Dyson re-articulated and reaffirmed why we do what we do.

Librarians, he said, are champions of literacy and it is through literacy (literacy defined as not only being able to read texts but also being able to read and understand our place in the world) that we become more human – people whose hearts are able to love the world for all of its wonderful diversity.

Upon hearing Dyson’s power-packed insight, I was reminded of Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal Acceptance speech from 2014, where she said the following:

We have been given the sacred task of making hearts large through story. We are working to make hearts that are capable of containing much joy and much sorrow, hearts capacious enough to contain the complexities and mysteries and contradictions of ourselves and of each other. We are working to make hearts that know how to love this world.

For those of you that are #alscleftbehind, thank you for staying to share stories with the children in our communities. You are making hearts that know how to love this world. We’ll do our best as live-bloggers to let you know all about the different things we’re learning here in Orlando so that together, one story at a time, one life at a time, we can make a better future for children through libraries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *