November 21, 2017

Feedback: Letters to LJ, October 15, 2016 Issue

“This is what…libraries can do to make a large difference in the lives of those who are often without a voice”

Give them a voice

The “Hard Times at the Library” section in Henrietta Verma’s Write Here had me in tears. This is what public service and libraries can do to make a large difference in the lives of those who are often without a voice, or whose voices are drowned out by shame and weariness. Thank you for sharing all of the various ways libraries are programming creativity. We, too, were a “Come Write In” participant in 2015. It was our first time, and it was beneficial to those wanting to rise to the challenge of creating a novel in 30 days. It was good for staff members, too. Our library system is signed up to participate again this year.

—Lori J. Latimer, Asst. Genealogist, Katie Murdoch Genealogy & Arkansas History Room, Pope Cty. Lib., Russellville, AR

The BLM agenda

I agree with the big and original driving factors of the [Black Lives Matter] movement (Lisa Peet, Public Librarians Launch Libraries4BlackLives. There is more than enough evidence and testimony to show that African Americans are treated as second-class citizens by figures of authority all over the country. There has never been a time when this was not true. This must be stopped, but did these librarians not do any research beyond this?

The BLM platform includes a constitutional amendment to a guaranteed fully funded education—including free day care, “high quality food,” etc. They call for an end to free trade agreements, literally use the phrase “redistribution of wealth” as a goal for a tax code restructuring, reparations—including a guaranteed minimum income—etc. This platform is economically unfeasible and so far removed from the real and present issues regarding police (and authority figure) mistreatment of people of color as to undermine the chances of any meaningful change.

These are not issues of equality. They are but a radical political agenda that has little to do with justice. This is unfortunate since the BLM movement could have done great things, and the L4BL, too, maybe. Instead, it’s just an opportunity to try to push a ridiculous social agenda on the back of very real tragedy.

—Anonymous Coward

Votes for Hayden

To [the commenter] who thinks that senators have a right to “vote as they see fit” (Why the animosity?), so do American citizens. I wrote to my senators to convey my support for Dr. Hayden. After the confirmation as Librarian of Congress, I checked to see how they voted. They both voted for her confirmation. If either had voted no, they would have heard from me. Senators and other elected officials need to vote in the best interests of the country they were elected to serve. If they don’t, we have the right to vote them out. It is unfortunate that many of our current elected officials are putting holds on many nominations. They are not serving the best interest of the country. They need to go.

—Name withheld

It does matter

In previous weeks, some conservative and libertarian pundits had spoken out against the perceived “political correctness” of [Carla] Hayden’s nomination, calling for the appointment of a scholar or “man of letters” (Why the animosity?). No, this sort of thing does matter to quite a few Americans… [I]t is time to get rid of such antiquated thinking.

—Sarah Nagle, Selection Libn., Carver Cty. Lib., Chaska, MN

Pros & cons of redesign

I appreciate an updated and streamlined visual design, but the redesigned sections in the current issue, with the slightly lighter typefaces for the body text and smaller type size on selected sections, are much harder to read. I don’t expect to retire for another 20 years or so, and would like to continue reading LJ in paper form as long as you keep publishing that way. If you have other similar comments, please consider tweaking the redesign to improve readability.

—Mary Cronin, Dir., Cook Memorial Lib., Tamworth, NH

For hybrid degrees

One of the classes that [most ]influenced my career in librarianship was UX for Web Design (Michael Stephens, Looking Forward). It counted toward my degree but was offered by the School of Information Architecture and Knowledge Management. I would love to see more hybrid degrees and cross-departmental cooperation, without students needing to take on a double major. Instructional design, communication, community engagement, emotional intelligence…all good to have under your belt for the library of today!

—Beth Hatch, Special Projects Mgr., Cleveland Hgts.–University Hgts. P.L., OH

CLARIFICATION

Sarah Domet, author of The Guineveres, which recently received a starred review (LJ 8/16, p. 81), no longer teaches English at Georgia Southern University.

This article was published in Library Journal's October 15, 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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Comments

  1. thank you for sharing all of the various ways libraries are programming creativity. It was our first time, and it was beneficial to those wanting to rise to the challenge of creating a novel in 30 days.