November 21, 2017

Dallas Public Library “Dedicated to Serving with Compassion” After Shooting

Post-it Mosaic in honor of Dallas Police Department at Dallas Public Library

Post-it Mosaic in honor of Dallas Police Department at Dallas Public Library

Residents of Dallas pulled together in their grief and anger Friday morning after five police officers were killed at a peaceful downtown demonstration Thursday night. All 29 branches of the Dallas Public Library (DPL) were open, despite the initial fear that the alleged shooter, who was killed by police, had planted explosives in the downtown area.

At the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, a few blocks from the crime scene, counselors were available on site to assist downtown residents and library employees. “The staff here in the Central Library gathered before we opened this morning to share, cry, and just support each other,” DPL director Jo Giudice told LJ. “We all agreed that we are here and open to serve the people of Dallas when they need us most. It was a massive hug-fest and the love in the space was palpable, which felt great after being up all night.”

Vigil at Dallas's Thanks-Giving Square on Friday, July 8

Vigil at Thanks-Giving Square, Dallas, on Friday, July 8

Staff created a Post-it mosaic Friday morning: five blue hearts for the five officers killed. An interfaith vigil was held at noon in Dallas’s Thanks-Giving Square, attended by many library employees along with city residents, and those who couldn’t make it observed a moment of silence at all DPL branches.

Library personnel from other cities that have weathered difficult events reached out to DPL with resources to share with the community, Giudice reported, including Scott Bonner, director of Ferguson Municipal Public Library, MO. “The outpouring of support is no surprise,” she said, echoing Bonner’s words of last fall: “That’s what libraries do.”

“We are dedicated to serving with compassion today,” Giudice added. “Mark Gilman, the manager of the Business and Technology floor, reminded us all that each citizen we help today will leave here and hopefully help another.”

In addition to providing a counselor, DPL posted the number of the 24-hour Crisis Hotline for all who might need it: (866) 342-6892.

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Lisa Peet About Lisa Peet

Lisa Peet is Associate Editor, News for Library Journal.

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Comments

  1. Karen Wall says:

    Thanks for this piece, Lisa. The DPL is one of the city’s treasures.