2020 brought a lot of unexpected changes and challenges to people all over the country. The session on “Children’s Librarianship in Communities Experiencing Trauma” was a great reminder of how libraries are often the hearts of their communities.
Anita Montoya and Beth Patin explained how they responded to traumas in their communities that were caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Coronavirus, and the death of George Floyd. Services had to be adapted in a way that still gave their libraries a strong presence.
Montoya’s public library expanded its outreach to public outdoor areas, which including bringing information about food availability and children’s books to their patrons. Patin worked with her school to find ways to still engage and educate their students, including setting up a library in a trailer, and borrowing space from another school that was still able to function.
Librarians are resilient problem solvers. The stories shared during this session were great examples of our abilities to adapt, and how powerful that can be to our communities. Libraries all over the country have had to adapt in 2020. We did not just let our services lapse. From curbside pick up to online programming to helping people access their basic needs, libraries continue to be strong and creative with their means of adaptation, proving that libraries are necessary for communities to survive and thrive during challenging times.