The award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien loves libraries and librarians! Some inspirational takeaways for me:
She feels a strong sense of kinship with our industry—“we both woke up one day and realized ‘omg! we are in the social justice business!’ “
She shared many statistics showing the number of people who trust public libraries has actually gone up at a time when trust in other institutions is declining. When nobody in America seems to agree on anything, 90%! of people describe the library as a welcoming place.
Libraries invest in knowledge, in serving all people where they are, which gives those people power—power that can never be taken away.
Who defines representing people, all people, better than libraries? Nobody, she concludes.
And finally, she feels that libraries are great unifiers in a divided world.
The Big Ideas talks have been educational, inspiring, and a great way to start each conference day. As a night owl and definitely not a morning person, I can say that they are well worth getting up early for.