As a librarian, I feel a deep fear of the direct threat to library funding posed by the new administration. However, as a philanthropy professional, I can’t help but feel some small amount of hope.
Research for everyone, a win for Nevada County, Generation Z on the move, and more letters to editor from the February 1, 2017 issue of Library Journal.
Many libraries work with local cultural institutions to provide patrons with free or reduced-cost access. These print passes can be checked out in-house by patrons just like other resources, complete with circulation limits, due dates, and fines. Some software companies are simplifying pass management with web-based tools to help patrons discover and check out museum passes and event tickets or make reservations.
If there’s anything the 2016 presidential election cycle taught us, it’s be prepared. We can never underestimate the groundswell of support for an issue, institution, or person who may not support what a library provides to its community; the reliance on fake news rather than on facts (and how easy it is to have it go viral); or the power of emotion over reason.
In the wake of the record-breaking attendance at the January 21 Women’s March on Washington, and sister marches in over 60 cities on all seven continents, social media reported that protesters were abandoning their signs after the event. Not all of those were destined for the recycling bin, however: archivists in several cities came out to collect and preserve them.
The sustainability of our world depends on a strong social fabric in local communities where people know and respect one another. This social fabric is key for resilient communities in the face of environmental, economic, and social disruption. That fabric is now torn in many places thanks to the vitriol and viciousness of the presidential election and fears about what will happen next.