As the new University Librarian at Brookens Library, I am also serving my profession as President of the Illinois Library Association. The mission of ILA includes references to leadership, learning and access to information. It clearly states that
“This access is essential for an open democratic society, an informed electorate, and the advancement of knowledge for all people. “
And that’s the crux of it. I didn’t become a librarian because I liked books, or to categorize knowledge or even to preserve information. These are all important functions in what librarians do, but it is ensuring access to all, extending opportunities to learn to all, empowering people, that drew me to being a librarian.
Librarians have a great and awesome responsibility to their communities, and so when I am confused, or without explanation, it’s a good time to explore core values and remember why I became a librarian, and why I believe deeply in the ALA Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read.
This week there are many others writing about libraries. American Library Association President Julie Todaro released a statement that includes these words: “”Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues. Our nation’s libraries serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable in our communities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds and promote inclusion and diversity.”
She continues with the idea that libraries are tolerant, inclusive, promote understanding and work to abolish cultural invisibility.
On behalf of the staff and faculty of Brookens Library, I would like to remind our campus community that the library will continue to practice the core values of librarianship. We invite you to explore the resources we have available to expand your knowledge, understanding and cultural awareness. We invite you to experience the comfort of finding your very own place in Brookens Library, whether you seek quiet and solitude or busy and active spaces. We invite you to interact with our staff who can assist you in finding more to explore and experience, not only at Brookens Library, but curated sources found in institutional repositories or librarian-created research guides at other institutions.
Blogger Zoe Fisher speaks of her love for libraries and their place in her world. She mentions there have always been libraries even through wars and the destruction of books and libraries. She closes with this thought about the chaos of the last few days: “There will be librarians to help people make sense of senseless things. And when I think of that, I am less afraid.”
Find your informational resources at Brookens Library. Find helpful staff at Brookens Library. Find your comfortable place at Brookens Library.