STATE OF AMERICA’S LIBRARIES 2022 A fascinating report and a must-read for lbraries everywhere. In 2021, libraries stepped up to meet the needs of their communities as they responded to the impacts of a 2nd year of global pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, library professionals served their communities in person, online, via phone, bookmobile, and even drone. When demand for the vaccine outstripped supply last year, libraries set up “vaccine hunter hotlines” Later when jabs were more plentiful, some libraries operated as vaccination sites.
In 2021, libraries found themselves at the centre of a culture war as conservative groups led a historic
effort to ban and challenge materials that address racism, gender, politics, and sexual identity. These groups sought to pull books from school and public library shelves that share the stories of people who are gay, trans, Black, Indigenous, people of color, immigrants, and refugees. But we all know that banning books won’t make these realities and lived experiences disappear, nor will it erase nations’ struggles
to realise true equity, diversity, and inclusion”
The video below of Barack Obama on libraries and what gives him hope is so worth watching!
State of America’s libraries 2022 shows just why the work of libraries is more essential than ever. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Reading—especially books that extend beyond our own experiences—expands our worldview. Censorship, on the other hand, divides us and creates barriers.”
The report covers examples of censorship fights across the country and examples of the centering of equity, diversity and inclusion. Libraries tackling disinformation, and the ongoing responseto covid. Read the digital inclusion stories and the connecting of communities to broadband.
The call to arms is that ” libraries remain resilient and robust in the face of a variety of challenges – misinformation about vaccines and elections, censorship attempts, a rising tide of xenophobia and homophobia, and even direct threats. But now more than ever they need our support, so they
can remain the heart and soul of their communities. Libraries need people to get involved: to spread the
word about the value of the library to neighbors, friends and decision-makers”
Read the report in full here!