Greetings all. First let me apologize that I am not in there in person. I can promise you that I am on the losing side of this equation.
Of course, we have become increasing used to this story. Projects started, moving online, slowly trying to regain normalcy and then back online. It seems all of our lives have become a series of waves, variants, and social distancing. Even as we look for the positives that have come out of the pandemic such as accelerated digitization of services and a shift in the work of librarians from maintaining spaces to content creation and community outreach, we must also acknowledge 4 million dead worldwide.
“Come together: Librarians across borders for better communities.” Next Library Festival 2021. Online.
Abstract: The great success of librarians in transforming libraries around their communities must be matched by a reinvention of library networks. These networks must be agile peer-to-peer connections of people.
Here’s the Too long; Didn’t Read version of my talk: The systemic change of libraries being shaped around their communities must be matched with a systemic change in the community of librarians themselves. Hierarchy and structure must give way to agile networks of people-not institutions.
“Libraries Leading the New Normal.” Computers in Libraries 2021. Online.
Abstract: Insurrection, pandemic, racial awakening, climate crisis, a looming wealth gap. Libraries of all types are functioning in a time unlike any in history. What role can librarians play in times such as these? The answer must be to rebuild trust and reaffirm the foundations of our very democratic ideals one community at a time. Librarians must join with those we serve in forging a new normal that embraces diversity over division, collaboration over ideology, and seeks a unified equitable future. Doing so requires us to build a pragmatic agenda for a new normal based on a foundation beyond collections and access.
Greetings, and thank you for having me. I would like to thank Dr. Prado in particular, not only for the invitation, but also for being such a great collaborator over the years.
I see that the theme for today is “Libraries for a better world.” I have to tell you that after the past year, I could certainly use a better world right now. After this past year, a world without COVID would be nice. Without the isolation of the pandemic, without the loss, and the fear would be nice. A better world where public health is not intertwined with political ideologies. Where a mask is not a statement.
A better world where we don’t pit the economy against the environment and where the color of your skin or the place of your birth does not determine your future.