September 17, 2017

Feedback: Letters to LJ, March 15, 2017 Issue

“Librarians may want to download ‘Indivisible’…[for] concerned staff and patrons. The approaches described will help anyone exert influence for change”

“What can we do?”

Meredith Schwartz observes that this question has become pervasive in America since the recent presidential election, with its widening penumbra of bigotry (“Aspiration to Action”). Seeking answers myself online, I turned up a Mother Jones article. [It] introduces a useful document entitled “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda,” which describes how Congress works and how people who want to fight xenophobic and socially destructive parts of the postelection agenda can influence Congress by appropriating techniques that worked for the Tea Party (www.­indivisibleguide.com).

Librarians may want to download “Indivisible” and make it available to concerned staff and patrons. The approaches described will help anyone exert influence for change, whether they identify as Democrat, Republican, or as “a plague on both your houses.”

—Martha Cornog, Philadelphia; LJ Graphic Novels columnist

Carla Hayden action figure

I would like to rally my fellow library professionals to join me in my campaign to create a new library action figure. While many of us love and adore Nancy Pearl and her many contributions to librarianship and literacy, let us consider the need for a companion…Carla Hayden action figure.

In a time when libraries are addressing the importance of diversity in our programs offered, in the titles we…add to our public collections, and [in] creating a more inclusive community access point for all, why not celebrate the diversity that now exists in our field? As the 14th Librarian of Congress, Hayden is the first African American [and the first] woman to hold the job, and she is an actual librarian to boot!

Contact Archie McPhee toys to support the need for a new librarian action figure: Ms. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress (email: mcphee@mcphee.com, or write Archie McPhee & Co., 10915 47th Ave. W., Mukilteo, WA 98275 USA).

—Sarah Potwin, Dir., LaGrange Assn. Lib., Poughkeepsie, NY

Improving salaries

I disagree with “Can’t eat it!” (Feedback, a response to John Berry, “Inspired by Serving Others”). While dedicating ourselves to customer service won’t feed our families on its own, the pay raise we could secure from doing outstanding work can. If we always strive for excellent customer service, our libraries will improve, followed by the budgets and then, in turn, our salaries. And in the process we are helping others: a win-win all around.

—Abby Reiter, Reference Libn., Northbrook P.L., IL

Inspired by Higgins

“Thank you, John Berry, for sharing and celebrating the story of Nick Higgins (“Inspired by Serving Others”). I did not write this piece off as the platitudes of an idealist. On the contrary, it inspired me. Nick’s story is an impactful reminder of why we librarians do the work we do. It’s the people who are at the heart of our service. We are living in a time when fear, anger, and pessimism [run] rampant. Berry’s column made us reconsider the good—not just in our profession but in each other…. [Ed. note: See our profile on Mover & Shaker Higgins.]

—Renee Grassi, Youth Svcs. Mgr., Dakota Cty. Lib., Wescott Lib., Eagan, MN

Leftist librarians

A poster I saw recently reads, “You Know Things Are Messed up When Librarians Start Marching,” presumably in response to the election of a Republican president, Donald Trump, after eight years of having a lovefest with a Democrat in the White House. But in a profession whose members are, I am certain, well over 90 percent of the opposition party—read Democrats, Socialists, and a few liberals sprinkled in for good measure—it hardly surprises me that librarians are marching. As a matter of fact, as a registered Republican, I would have marched in opposition to some of Obama’s lousy policies during the past eight years, but who would have covered me? Certainly not the media, whose members are perhaps even more to the left than the library ­profession.

—David Tulanian, Los Angeles

CORRECTION

The reviews of two essential cooking titles—Melissa Clark’s Dinner: Changing the Game and Christina Arokiasamy’s The Malaysian Kitchen: 150 Recipes for Simple Home Cooking (LJ 1/17, p. 122)—were intended to be starred. LJ regrets the omission.

This article was published in Library Journal's March 15, 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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