The results of the 2016 presidential election caught many by surprise. With the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, and his immediate remaking of American policy through executive orders, public and academic librarians began to mobilize. From book displays addressing resistance and inclusivity, to graphics proclaiming that all are welcome in the library, to topical LibGuides, to online groups organized by discipline or principles, library staff and supporters across the country joined forces with like thinkers to do what they do best: share information where it’s most needed.
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.