Governmentally speaking, the year 2017 has been a rocky one thus far. Our new president and his administration (as well as the 24-hour news and social media cycles) continue to instigate deep political, social, and cultural divisions within our nation. Given the current environment, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
ALSC is here to help. If you or anyone in your library community has been grappling with the White House Administration’s decisions and viewpoints, and/or wanted to focus on positive changes you can enact at your library, we invite you to check out our Post-Election resource.
This extensive (though not nearly exhaustive) document includes a variety of lists, guides, organizations, and services to help you assist your community in these uncertain times.
Each month, the ALSC Blog will highlight a different section of the Post-Election resource. Today, we focus on the Grassroots Organizing and Mobilizing section, which includes four different websites to help you support your local community, advocate for racial and social justice, and gather inspiration to create positive change. These websites include:
- Everyday Advocacy: One way to improve your library’s influence and outreach is to actively engage local organizations, elected officials, and other stakeholders, discussing the work you do. Not sure what to say or how to get the word out about your role within the library? Everyday Advocacy, supported by ALSC, gives you step-by-step guidance.
- Libraries Respond: Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers: ALA has created a list of resources for immigrants and allies regarding immigration raids, a person’s rights, and finding legal assistance. There are also resources regarding how libraries can welcome and support immigrants and refugees.
- REFORMA Children in Crisis Project: Since 2014, the Children in Crisis Project has been soliciting donations for books and materials to give to refugee children from various Central American countries crossing into the U.S. via the U.S.-Mexico border. Donate your money or time, or go to their website for recommended books and resources in Spanish.
- Rural Organizing Project (ROP): Based in the state of Oregon, ROP supports rural Oregonian communities, especially minority and marginalized groups (such as immigrant and LGBTQ populations), fighting for peace, justice, and human dignity.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and Local Affiliated Groups: SURJ mobilizes white people to collaborate with and support organizations led by people of color who are fighting for racial justice. Learn more about their organization or join a local chapter or affiliate.
Know other grassroots organizations or mobilization websites that we should add to our Post-Election resource? We encourage your participation! Contact the librarian referenced at the beginning of the Post-Election resource with your suggestions for edits and additional resources.
Marika Jeffery, a Youth Services Librarian at San Diego Public Library, is writing this post on behalf of the Public Awareness Committee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.