I’ve just returned from the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, delivered by Naomi Shihab Nye in Bellingham WA. You will hear more on this event soon, but you can check it out now on Twitter at #Arbuthnot2018 (and contemplate your application to be the host site for the 2019 lecture with Debbie Reese? Applications close May 15th).
During her talk, which will be published in Children and Libraries, Nye said that she encourages everyone to read obituaries, and shared a little about how many amazing people she has discovered through them. “We don’t have to look far for heroes; but we do have to remember how many there are.”
This made me think of the amazing work each of you do every day, in your libraries. While in Bellingham, I visited the Bellingham Public Library and was impressed at examples of what I know so many of you accomplish: maintaining library environments that engage children and families in creative learning activities and exploration. Like many of you, the Bellingham Public Library staff do it on a shoestring, from their modest children’s room that faces City Hall. Here, they hold 19 storytimes a week to address demand, and know they could do more both outside and inside their library.
Demonstrating impact and unmet demand in the community as we deliver our services is the work of Everyday Advocates like you, and right now is a great time for us to raise our voices together, as we get ready for National Library Legislative Day. As I prepare to join many colleagues in Washington DC, May 7-8 to speak with our elected representatives on the crucial role libraries play in our democracy and healthy communities, I hope that you will sign up to participate virtually. Just register online to receive talking points and resources, and commit to emailing, tweeting, or calling your Senators and Representatives May 7-8. And if you haven’t yet, take a peek at the fabulous new information sheet created by ALSC’s Public Awareness Committee, which provides data and talking points that speak to the impact of serving children through libraries.
See you online, May 7-8!